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Why seniors should be able to keep their Chromebooks

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On Monday, May 21, seniors will return their Chromebooks during their lunch periods in the Cafetorium.

Personally, I really dislike that we have to turn them in for various reasons.

First of all, every student pays a $90 annual fee during registration which is a lot of money for many. Upon writing this article, I learned that the fee helps cover more things than just the device. Omar Davis, a dean at DGS who also manages operations and technology, explains what else the fee pays for.

“In addition to the cost of the device, it includes other items such as device management software, a protective case and the district-provided insurance,” Davis said.

That’s all great. I think it’s fair that we have that annual registration fee with the knowledge that each student has a “freebie” so to speak if they damage their Chromebooks for the first time. Repair comes without cost.

But that’s not all. Not only do your hardworking parents pay that $90 annual fee, but their tax dollars also contribute to the costs of Chromebooks. Davis describes what exactly the tax dollars support.

“Chromebooks are paid for out of the Educational Fund which is primarily supported by property taxes and General State Aid. Cost not covered by the $90 annual student fee include tech support, repair parts, a portion of the unit costs for most students and the full unit costs for students whose families are eligible for fee waivers,” Davis said.

Honestly, I just feel like we’re paying too much money for these Chromebooks to not keep them after graduation. With just totaling registration fees, each student will have spent $360 on their Chromebooks which is more or less the same price as buying one. Not to mention, our tax dollars are going into the funds for these Chromebooks.

It truly does not make any sense to me why we don’t have this option to keep our Chromebooks.

Senior Faith Ley agrees with me.

“It seems that with all of the fees we have paid, the Chromebooks are basically paid for already and they won’t be reused so they would get more use from students that would need them in college instead of buying a new laptop or other device,” Ley said.

College is expensive, man. Keeping our Chromebooks would definitely reduce some of that financial burden.

Senior David Patel chimes in his two cents on the topic.

“If the Chromebooks are not being reused by incoming freshman, I don’t really see the point in recollecting them from current seniors. Seniors should be able to keep the Chromebook if they want to, if they choose to, I’m sure it’ll be a resource they will actually use beyond high school,” Patel said.

So what happens when we do turn them in? Davis explains how DGS uses the Chromebooks received by graduating seniors.

“Less than a third are in perfect working order. We repair those needing only minor repairs and use them for spares. The rest are used for spare parts,” Davis said.

Sure, I understand that some Chromebooks are so trashed that even the students may not want to keep them, but they should at least have the option to.

I’d rather have something than nothing going into college. Not everyone can buy a laptop or tablet right after they graduate. And honestly, if students realize they get to keep their Chromebooks, I’m sure they would take better care of them. I know I would.

The idea to keep Chromebooks after graduation was initially considered, however, the school decided not to go along with the idea considering the durability of the Chromebooks.

Hopefully, they will reconsider. I definitely think that this is something that should be discussed not only among the school board but taxpayers, students and parents themselves.

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