While many school districts across the area have worked hard to integrate modern technology in the classroom and at the fingertips of students and staff, not all districts are equal when it comes to having the same amount of funding available to incorporate the newest computers and other gadgets campus-wide.
To help kick start various administrative technology goals, Komarek School District 94 has landed a low-cost loan from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to begin upgrading its technology. The district was approved to receive a $98,000 loan at a 2 percent interest rate.
The technology loan is part of a revolving loan program offered through the ISBE, with the amount of money school districts receiving developed from a formula based on school enrollment.
According to ISBE’s 2014-15 district report card analysis of Komarek, last year the school enrolled roughly 523 students, 42 percent of whom classified as low-income students.
While the district does not have to spend all $98,000, they have the option of doing so and taking up to three years to use the loan. The loan is approved for various educational technology needs as deemed appropriate by the state. District 94 could use the money to upgrade equipment and wiring for installation, upgrading local and wide area networks, computer hardware for class instruction and staff development and other technology investments with a clear correlation to staff development and classroom instruction.
At this time, the district is working on rolling out a one-to-one student/laptop computer initiative, where every student has access to his or her own school-provided laptop.
First-year Superintendent Brian Ganan says the school is excited to have been among the state’s lucky districts to receive the loan.
“It’s going to be very helpful for us, as we are committed to adding new technology,” Ganan said.