(Daily Caller News Foundation) – Chicago schools are reportedly missing about $23 million in laptops, iPads and other electronic devices.
The 77,505 disappearing devices were reportedly lost or stolen “without search or recovery efforts” during the 2021-22 educational year at Chicago Public Schools (CPS), an annual report from the district’s Inspector General for the 2023 fiscal year revealed.
The amount of electronics missing was “unacceptably high” and in need of “serious overhaul,” the report said. This was the first time the district took inventory of material since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“At three dozen schools, 100 percent of tech devices assigned specifically to students were marked lost or stolen, inventory data showed,” the report stated.
Materials lost included laptops, iPads, WiFi hotspots, printers, document cameras and interactive whiteboards distributed to students. The district also spent $124 million on “technology assets” during the same period, which is the most CPS has ever used within the past five years, the report noted.
“Some students lost two, three, four, and even five tech assets, according to the 2021-22 inventory audit,” the report said. “At one school, five devices assigned to one fifth-grade student were marked lost and four assigned to his first-grade sister also were designated lost, according to the entries of one inventory technician. At the same school, two sisters and a brother each were listed with three lost tech devices, the OIG found.”
The district, which lacked an effective system to track devices, plans to change how materials are lent to students, according to the report. The intended changes will hold school lenders accountable to the asset management policy.