Florida's support for school technology is 'horrible,' Hernando superintendent says
Hernando County schools superintendent Lori Romano took the stand Tuesday in the Citizens for Strong Schools lawsuit, a case that challenges Florida's education funding and quality.
During her wide-ranging testimony, which touched on topics ranging from differentiated accountability to school resource officers, Romano was asked about the state's financial support of classroom technology. The move to digital instruction and materials has been a priority of the state for several years.
"It's absolutely horrible," Romano responded.
She spoke of visiting classrooms weekly, and seeing computers start smoking when children turn them on. "They have laptops that they can't get to run their digital materials," Romano said.
Teachers will note that they're being evaluated based on their use of technology to provide top quality instruction, Romano continued, "yet we don't have the resources to provide the hardware or software" needed for that instruction.
Romano mentioned that she has a first grade child who isn't taught daily on computers, but who is then expected to test on computers. That's inappropriate to education, she said.
Overall, Romano said, the state does not adequately fund public education in her view.
"We know what systems should look like," Romano testified. "We just don't have the resources."
The case is expected to continue three more weeks. The Florida Channel is broadcasting it live daily.