City plans to give Franklin school money for student laptops

Next school year, Franklin Community High School will join the list of local schools giving their students their own computers.

The Franklin Redevelopment Commission approved buying laptops for each of the high school’s nearly 1,700 students. Franklin will join more than 3,000 students at Center Grove, Indian Creek and Edinburgh high schools who also use taxpayer-funded laptop computers or devices such as iPads to watch lectures, type papers or email classmates and teachers.

The city board will have to give a final approval in March to spend about $500,000 on Google Chromebook laptops. Members of the board approved buying the laptops 4-1, with board member B.J. Deppe saying the expense was not an appropriate use of the board’s tax funds. The money will come from the city’s tax-increment financing, or TIF, districts. Those taxing districts collect property taxes from new development and set aside the money for economic development. The funds go to the redevelopment commission, and schools and other local governments don’t get a portion of those taxes.

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