UPDATE: Richmond schools respond to unused computer audit

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - At a news conference this morning, Richmond City School Superintendent Dr. Yvonne Brandon tells NBC12, only 10 of the more than 500 computers cited in an investigation dated back to 2006 and 2007.

This comes after the report says more than 500 computers, worth at least $338,000 were not distributed in time to students in the classrooms.

"There's no excuse for this technology to just sit in the warehouse and we've taken immediate steps to decrease our margin of error," says Dr. Brandon.

That means there is a more streamlined effort going on at the school warehouse building, along with some other changes.

"We want to be clear the bulk of those 500 computers noted in that report were scheduled for distribution prior to the inspector generals visit," adds Dr. Brandon.

Today, all computers are in the classroom. Dr. Brandon explained there is a complex process before getting these computers to the schools.

Still, she admits, those older computer should not have been in this warehouse. "Part of the process was to keep some spare computers to put into the labs in 2006. And, we had changes and personnel changes in our it department. I offer that as an explanation but not an excuse. We should have put them in the forefront of our distribution list."

School leaders add, although those 10 computers date back a few years, they are equipped with today's technology.

"Any computer bought in 2006 may have a Pentium II processor which parallels the current processor, so our software still works and can work in our network," says Dr. Brandon.

We also learned the school district is in the midst of changing its technology manual, which also was in the works prior to the inspectors report. Also, some changes in the way the laptops are distributed have already been made, and passed by the School Board in Richmond.

The school district adds that there has been some cuts in administrative staff and that may have played a role in the slower distribution of the computers.

That new revised technology policy is going in front of the School Board next month.

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