San Antonio Area School District Tracking Students Through ID Cards; Updated

UPDATE:   And so, it comes to this.  Think about the moneysaving potential of barcoding humans!  A surefire way for Mr. Nanny Bloomberg to make sure you aren’t finding a way to sneak a Big Gulp against state regulations.

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It’s all about revenues.

Computer monitored… supposedly only by “authorized users”

Northside Independent School District in the suburbs of San Antonio will be implementing a pilot program that will monitor students through ID cards fitted with RFID chips.  The program will affect a bit more than 6,000 of its bus riding students:

According to press reports, NISD plans to spend $525,065 to implement the pilot program and $136,005 per year to run it, but it will more than pay for itself, predicted Steve Bassett, Northside’s assistant superintendent for budget and finance. If successful, Northside would get $1.7 million next year from both higher attendance and Medicaid reimbursements for busing special education students, he said.

But the payoff could be a lot bigger if the program goes districtwide, Bassett said.

He said the program was one way the growing district could respond to the Legislature’s cuts in state education funding. Northside trimmed its budget last year by $61.4 million.

School officials admit that money concerns override any privacy concerns that parents might have:

“We want to harness the power of (the) technology to make schools safer, know where our students are all the time in a school, and increase revenues,” district spokesman Pascual Gonzalez said. “Parents expect that we always know where their children are, and this technology will help us do that.

Chip readers on campuses and on school buses can detect a student‘s location but can’t track them once they leave school property. Only authorized administrative officials will have access to the information, Gonzalez said.

“This way we can see if a student is at the nurse’s office or elsewhere on campus, when they normally are counted for attendance in first period,” he said.

News reports state that the school district loses $175K per day in funding for absent students.

Two school districts in the Houston area have used the technology for several years with supposedly little parental backlash, and have reportedly gained hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for improved attendance.

So, if this is really all about lost revenues, why not just put ID chips right into student’s skin? That way the cards won’t be lost, and they won’t need to be reissued. I would guess that might help the bottom line?

Here’s an alternative idea. Get rid of taxpayer funded pensions for public employees.  Stop teaching crap – we all know the litany of wasted classroom hours.  Quit the political correctness that prevents teachers from ridding classrooms of distractions. Take some pointers from successful private schools and quit making excuses as to why they won’t work for public school students.  Or the best idea of all — abolish the Federal Department of Education and quit worrying about bowing to the feds for funding purposes.

One day it’s drones flying over our backyards and the next it’s government tracking us through government issued ID cards — or worse.  Surely the path we’re headed on is clear now. Government monitoring, government control.


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