[lug] Free Software in Schools

Quentin Hartman qhartman at gmail.com
Wed Dec 26 09:27:59 MST 2012

One of the many reasons I stopped working in public education was
frustration around attitudes about this stuff and the bureaucracy involved.
I even had a lot of support coming from the assistant superintendent at the
last district I worked at and it was still a major uphill battle.

Most of the systemic problems I referred to were not federal things, but
state things. Education is controlled at the state level for the most part
and the details vary widely from one to the next, but as far as I've seen
they are all mired in bureaucracy. If this is something you want to dive
into, do some research on how the budgeting system works for public schools
in CO and see if it has the same sorts of problems like I describe from OR.
If so, put together proposals on why changing it would be a good thing, and
how to change it while still discouraging corruption and misuse. If you can
get some superintendents to work with you in fighting that fight to make
the system more nimble, you might be able to change it, which would be a
positive not only for FOSS adoption, but countless other things.

My answer to these problems on a personal level is avoiding traditional
public school for my children all together once they reach that age. Maybe
someday I'll get back into that fight, but I'm pretty burned out on it for


On Mon, Dec 24, 2012 at 12:31 PM, Davide Del Vento <
davide.del.vento at gmail.com> wrote:

> Thank you and everybody else for the answers.
> > Right, but as stated in my last point, public school budgets are not
> > "agile". Even if they were to save money on hardware or software, the
> > chances of that money finding it's way to fund something else at the
> school
> > are near zero.
> I find this horrible. And yet one more reason to sign the petition
> [1]. In fact, most of you have slightly but essentially changed the
> subject of my discussion from <<sign a petition that says "White
> House, please make something to make it easier for schools to use Open
> Source Software">> to <<it's useless to ask schools to use open source
> software because of "insert your reason here">>. Note that the
> petition uses language such as "promote" and "as much as possible",
> it's not a petition to "force everybody to use Open Source - period".
> Some of these "insert your reason here" (e.g. this funds cannot be
> moved among different but related accounts such hw and sw) can be
> surely fixed by the gov't (not sure if WH, or congress) if they
> wanted. Thus signing is even more important
> Merry Christmas.
> Davide
> [1]:
> https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/promote-use-free-software-our-schools-libre-office-gimp-gnu-cash-and-other-gpl-software-which-cost/T1xGw1fZ
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