October 31, 2012
For Immediate Release .
Contact: Mike Lanza
Cell: 208.861.2064 .
Laptop contract a bad deal for Idaho taxpayers
BOISE — After months of inexplicable delays and a questionable bidding process, the technology contract recently released by the State Department of Education contains provisions that are a bad deal for Idaho taxpayers and raise even more doubts about the true costs of the fiscally irresponsible laptop scheme.
According to reports in the Spokesman-Review, which obtained a copy of the contract with Hewlett-Packard, the costs of providing laptops to every teacher and high school student have grown. The cost estimates for the first five years have gone from between $60.8 million and $70.8 million to $114 million. The eight-year contract totals $182 million.
“Will the price tag on this misguided scheme ever stop growing? It’s not only bad education policy—it’s a raw deal for taxpayers” said Mike Lanza, the chairman of the Vote No on Propositions 1, 2, 3 campaign. “Idahoans will be paying dearly for many years to come for a risky plan that has nothing to do with student achievement, has been fraught with problems since the get-go, and continues to take more and more away from a bare-bones public schools budget that is the second lowest in the nation.”
Lanza says the deal negotiated by the State Department of Education shouldn’t leave taxpayers on the hook for the inevitable damage and loss to the laptops. He pointed to the recent Spokesman-Review report citing a technology industry analyst, who claimed that kids are even harder on computers than soliders using the machines in war zones.
Lanza also noted that according to figures from the Boise School District, it pays $825 for each of the laptops for its schools. The model is similar to the one described in the state contract –and the Boise District owns its computers. The HP contract will cost Idaho taxpayers $1,171 per computer–for a lease arrangement, rather than ownership, with the state still being on the hook for the cost of computer loss, damage, or theft.
“I have an offer for Tom Luna. I’ll sell him a laptop for $1,200–but I get to own it, he has to pay if one of his grandchildren loses or damages it, and I get to take it back in four years,” Lanza said. “If he likes my offer, I’ll run out to Best Buy right now and get two computers with his $1,200.”
Last week, a co-chairman of the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC) admitted to “sticker shock,” upon hearing about the dollar amounts in the inked contract. The Vote No campaign is urging voters to ask state lawmakers and candidates, particularly those who originally supported Proposition 3, if they continue to support the Luna laptop plan, despite rapidly escalating costs.
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Our children’s future is at stake. We need your help to overturn these expensive top-down mandates.
Vote NO on Propositions 1,2,3
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