According to the Detroit Free Press, public school students in Detroit will be getting government-subsidized laptops this year, thanks to the Obama stimulus bill. The district is purchasing & distributing 40,000 new laptops to students in grades 6-12, as well as purchasing 5k desktops and various other peripheral devices, and new laptops for the teachers.
Now, I know that Detroit is in dire straits lately, and has been hit hard with the economic downturn and the decline of US automakers, but is this really the best way to spend stimulus money? Why do kids in grades 6-12 need laptops? I can see a laptop coming in handy for college students, but not grades 6-12, and not at taxpayer expense. And on top of that, how many jobs are these laptops going to “save or create?” Probably quite a few in China, where the laptops are manufactured, but not a whole lot here in the US.
At its root, this story shows the continuing fallacy that is liberals’ philosophy regarding education. Laptops may be a nice educational aid if use is sufficiently monitored by parents, but there is no way that 40,000 laptops for 6th-12th grade students is a responsible use of stimulus dollars…but at least we know that Detroit public school students will be able to keep their Facebook statuses up-to-date.