Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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March 28, 2013

MWISD: Elections & technology top topics

(Continued)

MWISD trustees also approved Palo Pinto County Elections Administrator Judith Evans to serve as election judge and appointed Myra Johnson as the alternate judge. Trustees approved David Lee, Brian Reagan and Wayne Johnson as election clerks.

The school board has three at-large places up this year and two of those are contested. On the ballot for Place 4 are incumbent Scott Aaron and newcomer Paul Glenn Harrison, and for Place 5 are incumbent Mike Tincher and Sunny Gail Lee. School Board President Joe Ruelas is unopposed for Place 3.

Technology

Director of Technology Jeanette Barron gave her department's spring report, which included ways the district will save money by changing contracts for the 2013-14 school year.

Barron started her report by explaining that MWISD technology services is currently eligible for E-Rate funding at 82 percent, which means the district pays the remaining 18 percent of the price of services.

She said that campuses, such as Houston and Lamar elementary schools, where 75 percent of students qualify for free and reduced price lunches, E-Rate pays 90 percent of technology costs and MWISD pays 10 percent.

This has enabled those two schools to get infrastructure upgrades, including networks, switches and cabling, she said. Barron added that she hopes the district can qualify the other campuses for the 90 percent rate, which means more students will have to sign up for the free and reduced price lunches, even if they don't plan to eat the meals.

Barron reviewed for trustees the proposed changes with vendors. This would include changing Internet (wireless) connection to Nextlink for 150 mega-bytes per second – an upgrade from 100 Mbps – which would save $1,300 per month. She said she was able to get a better price through Suddenlink for the district's back-up Internet (fiber) connection. The district will also switch its Wepage subscription to Digital School Network/SchoolPointe and save over $3,100 per year.

In all, the changes in technology contracts would cost $12,137 per year – mostly augmented with E-Rate funding – down from $15,573 per year.

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