1 to 1 Costs vs Athletics

Scott McLeod does some terrific work. He has posted a comment about the cost of athletic programs as it relates to implementing a 1 to 1 computer program. He points out that it is not about knocking athletic programs. Athletics are important and have a role. Rather, this is about considering costs and coming up with comparables. It’s a short post and worth reading. He finishes with three questions:

  1. How much money does your school district spend per year on athletics?
  2. How many student/teacher laptops (at, say, $1,400 apiece) would that buy?
  3. Which offers greater benefits for students and/or the district (short term and/or long term)?

All fair questions. I’d propose a few questions myself:

  1. Are these questions that we are talking about as educators?
  2. Are we talking about them as a school community? As a larger community?
  3. How much do emotional attachments matter?
  4. Is education about reading, writing and math? Is it about different things?

Education is messy. I actually think that this is a strength of education. It makes poor decisions harder to implement. It makes us talk about, discuss, argue, etc. what we want education to do. This is an interesting discussion though. How much does your school (district) spend on athletics?