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School buildings are obsolete, so why spend the tax money?

Letter from Linda K. Spielman

Education – January 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine


In response to two articles in your December issue: “Election spin” and “It’s fun to be wired, but where will it lead?”

For folks beyond the Rockies, the Internet is already leading to a universe of knowledge. But for people in the high country, I sometimes wonder whether it will ever lead anywhere.

When I brought my solar-powered laptop to the Rockies to run an international mail-order business, I never dreamed that eight years later, I would know only five people who own personal computers, only one of whom makes any effort to learn what to do with it.

Which may explain why tax increases for new or improved school and library buildings were approved in the recent election ($43,000,000 — gasp! — in Gunnison, including the debt load).

Instead of urging us to waste our tax money on buildings for educational purposes, our local government officials should have told us that the world is rapidly moving to a future where buildings will be utterly useless because everything there is to know will be available on a 13-inch computer screen.

Instead of urging us to pay for buildings because “nothing is too good for our children,” they should have urged us to buy each student a $500 monitor/modem/keyboard to use at home with a subscription to the Internet.

I suspect that they didn’t put the latter option on the ballot because:

(a) they don’t know one darn thing about this innovative concept,

(b) they want to retain the use of our tax dollars to support their ignorance and incompetence, and

(c) they suspect that a computer-literate population will accelerate the obsolescence of politicians — an event that cannot come too soon for me!

Politicians who exploit the emotions of a poorly informed electorate are a major hindrance to progress, yes. But US West is quite simply the greatest stumbling block in the way of our access to the World Wide Web — and therefore to the future itself. If nothing else, our government officials should be mounting furious protests against this corporation which is too busy assembling its global empire to provide Colorado with basic phone service of a kind taken for granted everywhere else in America.

Linda K. Spielman