Schools out! It's a big change for many parents- you gotta find something for the kids to do! Summer camps, running them around, give you a reason not to feel bad WHEN they go back to school. You feel relieved! Being a parent is hard. It can be a lot of work and you owe it to yourself to finally have a little peace and quiet.
THEN the worry sets in... Where are they? Are they okay? Who are they hanging with? Don't you wish you could just TAG them and KNOW where they are every second?
Well....you can... at least that's the concept behind the "RFID Tags" at the Northside Independent School District in Texas. They plan on tracking their students next year on two of its campuses using technology implanted in their student identification cards in a trial that could eventually include all 112 of its schools and all of its nearly 100,000 students.
District officials said the Radio Frequency Identification System (RFID) tags would improve safety by allowing them to locate students — and count them more accurately at the beginning of the school day to help offset cuts in state funding, which is partly based on attendance.
The school board unanimously approved the program late Tuesday but, in a rarity for Northside trustees, they hotly debated it first, with some questioning it on privacy grounds.
The Chips will help the schools harness the power of (the) technology to make schools safer, know where our students are all the time in a school, and increase revenues.
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 that information.
The district plans to send letters to parents whose students are getting the the RFID-tagged ID cards. They cost $15 each, and if lost, a student will have to pay for a new one.
Parents interviewed were either supportive, skeptical or offended.
Some parents said they understood the benefits but had reservations over privacy.
The district plans to spend $525,065 to implement the pilot program and $136,005 per year to run it BUT if it is successful, Northside would get $1.7 million next year from both higher attendance and Medicaid reimbursements for busing special education students.