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Judge to rule on Cobb County iBook program

updated 10:25 am EDT, Mon July 11, 2005

Cobb iBook program

A judge today will be asked to halt Cobb County's new , because opponents think it is a waste of taxpayer money, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "The truth is, I'm embarrassed I have to do something like this," said Butch Thompson, the former county commissioner who brought the lawsuit. He accuses school officials of planning to misspend taxpayers' money by using proceeds from a 1 percent sales tax to start the laptop program. "The 'little man' [needs] to know that government people are supposed to do what they say they'll do," he said. Cobb voters approved the tax in 2003. As they did, school officials said they would replace students' "obsolete workstations." They didn't say with what. The suit contends voters could not have known the system would provide computers for all students in grades six through twelve, putting Cobb on track to lead one of the nation's largest such efforts.

by MacNN Staff





  1. l008com

    Joined: Dec 1969



    What exactly are they complaining, that they are giving out all these computers, or are they claiming they are wasting money because they are macs?

  1. TheDov

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The Law

    Was any sort of law broken? If not, then what can a judge do about it?

  1. rok

    Joined: Dec 1969


    and how was this wrong?

    fromt he wording of it, i agree -- what exactly is mr. thompson's point? that the taxpayers didn't agree as to which make and model of laptop the students would get, or the overall program? if the latter, well, h***, what did they think "replace obsolete workstations" might mean? just a swap out of old desktops? and if he's got a problem with ibooks in general, does he suggest that every proposed plan go before the people for a vote? i mean, good god, at some point you have to let the people you APPOINTED or ELECTED actually make decisions for you because YOU PUT THEM THERE and YOU TRUSTED THEM. otherwise, what's the point of having them at all?

  1. dav

    Joined: Dec 1969


    i don't get this either

    computers for students is a waste of taxpayers money???

  1. JEB

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Holier Than Thou

    "I am embarrassed I HAVE TO do this . . ."

    No you don't. We're embarrassed about your actions, too. To make something work in a school system requires huge, ongoing, community-based planning. You're asking people to take their hard work and re-work everything. Nothing wrong is going on . . . completely legit.

  1. alandail

    Joined: Dec 1969


    the value of education

    it's disturbing to see former government officials trying to block programs to improve education. Let the educators decide the most effective ways to spend money on eduction, not judges and (former) politicians.

    I think it's pretty reasonable to believe that in school systems where all students have compatible laptop computers, educators will be able to take advantage of the technology to actually better educate the students.

  1. jmonty12

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The Point

    I think the point is that the "obsolete workstations" were not computers owned by each student, but instead represented a much, much smaller number of machines in computer labs or other such shared areas.

    Personally, I have to agree that getting a computer for every student over such a large range of ages is stupid. How many kids can be trusted with such machines unless they are strictly kept control over? Are these kids going to take them home (since they are laptops it seems likely?) How many kids will lose them or break them or get them taken away from them? How many times do you replace such machines?

    Computers are a great tool but do not replace the need for direct interaction with a teacher. Their real contribution to learning is highly dependent on the student's ability to learn by himself and therefore limited. They should spend so much money on teacher's salaries and see benefits for all students.

  1. chas_m



    Cobb County ...

    ... is one of those places where the creationists have a strong foothold.

    Nuff said?

    (I used to live there. I know what I'm talking about.)

  1. Ganesha

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'm all for...

    ..getting rid of paper books. I think I will bring a lawsuit. Paper books are a waste of money and content in paper books cannot be easily updated without replacing the entire book.

  1. factoid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Embarrassed Cobb resident

    I live in Cobb County and am a Mac trainer. I am always embarrassed to tell my educated, rational, sentient friends that I live here because it IS such a bastion of what's wrong with the South.

    Cobb County lost the opportunity to host an Olympic event in 1996 because the county commission passed an ordinance saying that homosexuality is NOT a family value and wouldn't rescind it.

    Cobb County is where THIS YEAR the Board of Education mandated that every high school biology textbook get a sticker indicating that evolution is just one of many unproven theories that explain man and suggesting that creationism is equally valid. Fortunately a lawsuit caused those stickers to be pulled off.

    Cobb County is where if your car had a Kerry or Gore sticker you could come out and find your tires flattened or a nice scratch across the length of your car.

    Cobb County gave the country Newt Gingrich (and his Newtzies) and Bob Barr.

    Cobb County also has the best public schools in the state despite all this. But then when you're ranked 49th that's not saying much.

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