Ed-Tech Policy

Panels Clear Plan To Supply and Link All Kentucky Classes With Computers

By Peter West — May 13, 1992 3 min read

A state panel in Kentucky has approved a long-range plan for equipping every classroom with computers and linking all of the state’s schools electronically, a long-awaited action that will advance a key element of the state’s sweeping education-reform effort.

Despite a spate of last-minute efforts to amend the blueprint--which should have been approved 18 months ago--the Kentucky Council for Educational Technology this month approved the six-year, $400-million technology master plan.

Development of the plan was mandated by the legislature as part of the landmark 1990 school-reform act.

Efforts to adopt a master plan have been a bone of contention since an early version was rejected in 1991 by lawmakers who argued that it lacked sufficient detail.

The plan broadly outlines how the state should develop electronic links between every school in the state and the state education department. It also provides guidelines to school districts on how to equip classrooms for electronic recordkeeping and instruction.

As approved by the legislature, half of the $400 million needed to implement the plan will come from a special state fund set aside for the purpose, with the balance being paid by local school systems.

This month, legislators approved $15 million for the fund over the next two fiscal years.

The plan must now pass muster with both the state’s legislative research commission and education board, which were scheduled to review the document late last week.

Observers said that it seemed unlikely that either body would have criticisms significant enough to stall the plan.

“I’m pretty sure that it will get approved,’' said Representative Pete Worthington, the speaker pro tem of the Kentucky House.

Mr. Worthington has been deeply involved in the process of developing the blueprint for bringing the state’s schools into the information age, although critics in the legislature contend that his efforts to ensure that the plan meets with his approval have delayed its completion.

Many of them feel that Mr. Worthington, a former employee of the typewriter division of the International Business Machines Corporation, favors an overcentralized, top-down approach that is not in keeping with the spirit of local control inherent in the reform effort.

Mr. Worthington has countered that his only goal was to ensure that the massive expenditure produces a high-quality and effective system.

In a related development, the legislature late last month awarded a $175,000 contract to the Digital Equipment Corporation to advise on the implementation of the master plan. Digital had competed with Anderson Consulting and Deloitte and Touche, two other firms that submitted proposals for building the electronic network. (See Education Week, Jan. 8, 1992.)

Elements of all three proposals were built into the master plan that was approved last week, officials said.

A Computer for Every 6 Pupils

Under the terms of the reform measure, each of Kentucky’s 176 school districts will adopt its own local technology plan, which must be compatible with the state master plan in order to be eligible for state funding.

As the system is envisioned, each school will have its own system of computer workstations, both in classrooms and administrative offices, that will be networked together and to the central state system to perform recordkeeping and other tasks.

In addition, the classroom workstations would be equipped with large-screen television monitors to allow for the delivery of instruction from either the computer network or the state’s elaborate range of satellite-delivered courses.

The plan also calls for providing one personal computer for every six children in the state, or roughly 100,000 computers. Individual schools and districts will have the option of deciding whether to install the machines in classrooms or to group them in computer laboratories.

A version of this article appeared in the May 13, 1992 edition of Education Week as Panels Clear Plan To Supply and Link All Kentucky Classes With Computers

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Here to Stay – Pandemic Lessons for EdTech in Future Development
What technology is needed in a post pandemic district? Learn how changes in education will impact development of new technologies.
Content provided by AWS
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Strategies & Tips for Complex Decision-Making
Schools are working through the most disruptive period in the history of modern education, facing a pandemic, economic problems, social justice issues, and rapid technological change all at once. But even after the pandemic ends,

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Ed-Tech Policy Q&A Acting FCC Chair: The 'Homework Gap' Is an 'Especially Cruel' Reality During the Pandemic
Under the new leadership of Jessica Rosenworcel, the FCC is exploring broadening the E-Rate to cover home-connectivity needs.
5 min read
Internet connectivity doesn't reach all the houses
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and iStock/Getty
Ed-Tech Policy Millions of Students Got Free Home Internet for Remote Learning. How Long Will It Last?
Time and money are running out on temporary agreements between districts and ISPs. Broadband advocates want a federal solution.
10 min read
Cupped hands hold a precious wi-fi symbol
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Digital Vision Vectors/Getty
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Ed-Tech Policy Whitepaper
Using E-rate Funds to Enhance School Networks
This guide offers a roadmap to help K-12 leaders successfully leverage federal funds to expand digital learning opportunities for their students.
Content provided by Spectrum Enterprise
Ed-Tech Policy FCC Takes One Step Closer to Offering E-Rate Funds for Remote Learning Technology
Advocates have urged the FCC to loosen its rules on E-Rate funds so schools can pay for technology that helps students learn remotely.
2 min read
Andrew Burstein, 13, participates in a virtual class through Don Estridge High Tech Middle School in Delray Beach, Fla., this school year.
Andrew Burstein, 13, participates in a virtual class through Don Estridge High Tech Middle School in Delray Beach, Fla., this school year.
Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP