CHICAGO (CBS) — Thanks to the federal government, students at several Chicago Public Schools now have more than 2,000 computers and printers to use in their studies.
WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports the computers are gently-used government surplus, left over from the 2010 Census.
Under the federal Computers For Learning program, the U.S. General Services Administration is donating about $4 million worth of computers and printers to Chicago schools.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports
GSA Regional Administrator Ann Kalayil said it’s a win-win for the schools and the federal government.
“It also reduces the amount of landfill disposal of electronic waste,” she said.
CPS Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard said children learn better when they have modern technology at their fingertips.
“I have a 2-year-old son who has been proficient on the iPad since 13 months. He can turn it on, navigate it, has his apps,” Brizard said. “He knows every number to 20, all the alphabets and the colors before the age of 2.”
The GSA said all of the computers were wiped clean before they were donated to schools, so no sensitive information would be compromised.
U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) applied to get the computers for CPS.
“Harnessing existing resources is a key to reinventing government, especially when times are tough,” Quigley said. “I am so proud to have helped put these computers and printers directly into classrooms across the entire City of Chicago, where students can gain the technology skills they need to succeed.”
Schools that receive the equipment will use the computers and printers to supplement existing programs or create new learning programs.
At Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Elementary School, 3149 N. Wolcott, where officials announced the donation of equipment, school officials will use the equipment to set up a writing lab with 10 computers and a language labs with 10 computers, according to a news release from CPS.
Other schools receiving donated equipment include:
• Chicago Academy High School, at 3400 N. Austin Av., which will use 10 computers and a printer for a testing lab;
• William J. Onahan Elementary School, at 6634 W. Raven St., which will use six computers and six printers for a computer lab;
• Fernwood Elementary School, at 10041 S. Union Ave., which intends to use 10 computers and 10 printers for student online testing;
• and Percy L. Julian High School, at 10330 S. Elizabeth St., which will use 10 computers and three printers to increase student access to technology in its library.
The donation of over 2,000 computers and printers included 500 Dell Optiplex 360 computers with either 17- or 19-inch screens and more than 1,600 HP Laserjet 9050D printers.
Because the equipment will be outdated by the next U.S. Census in 2010, the surplus equipment has been donated to schools.