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Is $25,000 on iPads for Kindergarteners a Good Public School Investment?


"We can't have one person bring it home and one student not bring it home. It's just not fair."

It's happening again. In April, we covered the $200,000 a Portland, Maine, school is planning to spend on iPads for five and six-year-olds. Now, a Massachusetts school is headed down the same road. Once again parents are questioning the practicality of providing kindergarteners with one of the tech world's most popular gadgets.

While some may wonder whether these devices are appropriate for young kids, others are more concerned over the $20,000-$25,000 cost the plan would pose.

Under the current proposal, the school would buy 150 iPads for the kids to use in the classroom. If parents want their kids to bring the devices home, they would need to lease them ($25 per month). At the end of a two-year period, the parents would then own the units. FOX 25 has more:

Some question if this is the best use of taxpayer money. Catherine Adair has children in school at Briggs Elementary. She tells FOX 25, "We have no Vice Principal. We have a very bare bones staff. I don't think kindergartners having iPads is the best expenditure of taxpayer money."

PTA member Meredith Fagan had questions about those children whose parents can't afford the 25 dollars a month. "We are in a public school. We can't have one person bring it home and one student not bring it home. It's just not fair," she told FOX 25.

Both of these concerns are certainly valid. But, simple math shows that this arrangement may actually be financially beneficial to the district. Consider the unlikely event that all 150 units are leased. At a cost of $25 per month over a two-year period, this $25,000 could easily return a total of $90,000 (far more than the district initially paid). Even if the district is only able to lease 33 percent of the iPads, the sum paid out would still yield a small profit.

Of course, this doesn't answer the larger question of whether these devices are practical for kindergarteners. Watch the FOX 25 clip below for more:

iPads for kindergarteners?: MyFoxDC.com

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