Merry Christmas from Judge Manning

From the N&O:

Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard Manning Jr. said Thursday he will make the state surrender as much as $768 million that will be used to buy new computers for every school district in North Carolina.

He rejected most arguments aimed at limiting the payout and the number of districts that would receive money from a pot of civil fines collected by state agencies for almost a decade ending in 2005.

Under state law, the pool of civil fines must be used to pay for new technology.

The total payout, along with the amount each of the state’s 117 school districts will get, is still to be determined. Money will be paid based on the number of students in each school district.

State officials did not say Thursday where they will find the money, but Manning said he expects it to be paid over several years.

Add this good news to the jumpstart we have received through this year’s local technology partnership with County Government (and its five-year commitment)—and maintaining modern technology assets over time will not be the most critical of our technology-inspired discussions.

As I said of this deal in The Heavy Lifting and reiterate now in light of Judge Manning’s decision—

We will have to address how these 21st century tools are going to impact 21st century teaching and learning for 100% of our teachers and students.

That is a much different and higher-concept, higher-value conversation than the “stuff” conversation. This is the time and the opportunity for divergent thought leadership.

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