This issue is very germane now that budget planning time is approaching.
Two years ago I did a phone survey of the districts in Chittenden
County as part of a staffing proposal, and ran into a lot of the same
questions about job descriptions. I also recently analyzed the data
from the 2000 QED survey Bill Romond referred to, and found a lot of
reporting discrepancies in the tech support and budget answers.
I think we need to do a good job of sharing this information and
advocating for adequate staffing for tech support, professional
development, and coordination. If we don't voice our concerns, we will
continue to suffer inadequate levels of staffing and budget support.
I would like to suggest the following categories for an informal
Tech Support (computer installation/repair etc.)
Network Administration (e.g., Novell or Windows Network Admin)
Tech Coordinator/Director (planning, policy, budgeting, wearing out
chairs in meetings, etc.)
Computer Teacher (teaches general computer skills to all students K-12
-- teacher contract)
Tech Integration Specialist (teaches computer skills to professional
staff -- possibly teacher contract)
I would also request that the information include the number of
students and the number of computers.
The information still leaves much to be desired, since it doesn't
include the quality of computer use in the schools, the number of
advanced (e.g., digital video) platforms supported, the number of
operating systems, make/model, age of computers, or information about
the WAN/LAN configurations and supporting infrastructure. It also is
hard to parse out the percentages when people have multiple hats --
e.g., the library/-media specialist/building tech support/part-time
network administrator/tech coordinator/professional development person.
However, it might give a school board enough comparable information on a
per pupil basis to get staffing to appropriate levels.
If you want a good laugh (or cry), check out the staffing formula at
The information for the Burlington School District:
TS: 3.0 f.t.e. (full year)
Network: 2.0 f.t.e. (full year)
Coord: 1.0 f.t.e. (full year)
Computer Teacher: 2.0 f.t.e. (teacher contract, high school only)
Tech Int. Spec. 2.0 f.t.e. (teacher year, K-8 only)
Lab Para: 1.0 f.t.e
Total number of computers: ~1200 Total number of students ~3600
I guess if you want computers per repair person, we are at 240:1, since
my network people repair as often as not. If I went by the average
staffing level per student in Chittenden County in 2000, Burlington is
short 1.0 tech support, 0.2 coord, .4 Tech Int. Spec, and 0.8 lab para.
L. Paul Irish
Director of Instructional Technology
Burlington School District
150 Colchester Ave.
Burlington, VT, 05401
E-Mail: [log in to unmask]