A Tech Turnaround in Rural Schooling

Type: Article
Topics: District & School Operations, Rural Communities, School Administrator Magazine, Technology & AI

May 01, 2020

After state funds disappear, an Alabama district adopts a stick-to-it campaign for its one-to-one learning initiative
Suzanne Lacey2
Talladega County Schools in Alabama held onto its dream to launch one-to-one computing despite significant state funding cuts, according to Superintendent Suzanne Lacey (center).

On my first day as superintendent in July 2008, the governor of Alabama prorated all school districts’ funds across the state due to a decline in anticipated revenue. For the schools in Talladega County, this meant we would be losing approximately $4.8 million in state aid.

This news was devastating, to say the least, to a high-poverty, rural district where 72 percent of students qualify for free and/or reduced-price lunch and internet accessibility often is limited. Our dream of transforming schools through the integration of technology and project-based learning came to an abrupt halt.

During the previous two years, school district leaders, community partners and stakeholders had visited successful schools across the nation to observe classrooms and learn how tech tools were making a positive impact and personalizing student learning.

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Suzanne Lacey


Talladega (Ala.) County Schools