PICKENS COUNTY HERALD
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Last Updated January 27, 2015
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Board of Education approves bond  to improve computer infrastructure

By Doug Sanders Jr.
Editor and Publisher
The Pickens County Board of Education last Wednesday approved a plan to join with other schools in the state to initiate a 20-year bond issue which would be use to update the computer infrastructure of the county schools.
Meeting at Pickens County High School as part of the Board’s regular rotating schedule, Superintendent of Education Jamie Chapman presented the plan for the bond issue, something the Board has been discussing for several months.
Chapman reminded the Board and the public this is separate from the proceeds from the new one-cent education sales tax passed last year. The Board still plans to use the money from the new sales tax as it laid out during the campaign for its passage, said Chapman.
This bond issue would be sold through the Alabama Public School and College Authority, and several other school systems in Alabama are going to join with Pickens County in the plan. Chapman said the Board will use money it sets aside for capital improvements for this plan.
Chapman proposed setting aside up to $150,000 a year for 20 years so the Board can receive $2.25 million to immediately get to work on updating its computer infrastructure.
Chapman said there is a chance the Alabama Legislature may do its own bond issue for technology this year, and if so, the Pickens County School System and the other systems would be reimbursed for part of what they have already spent on the technology upgrade.
Chapman said he was initially skeptical of the plan, but after meeting with two State Department of Education officials who endorsed the idea, he through it was a good plan to upgrade the aging computer system in the schools.
Chapman said he didn’t think it would be to the point where every student would have a laptop computer, but it would probably be at a level where a student could bring their own personal device to school and do their school work on it.
Board Member Debbie Holley made a motion to participate in the bond program. Board Member Annie Jackson seconded the motion, and it was unanimously approved.

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Alabama’s 2015 severe weather sales tax holiday
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