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Laptops to Save Birmingham Kids (perhaps, in the long run)

18 November 2007

With all the crazy talk about Larry Langford improving things in his first few weeks as Birmingham’s new Mayor, I find it interesting that he thinks that a multinational foundation aimed at “children in developing nations” is going to care as much about our kids in the City of Birmingham as they do in impoverished areas around the world. 

Recent reports in the Birmingham News state that Dr. John Katapodis, a longtime partner in crime with the new Mayor, has approached the good folks at MIT about procuring thousands of laptops for the Birmingham school children (to use, not to own).  Katapodis is Harvard-educated, so perhaps he has some pull with the adjacent university.  I dunno.

What follows is the statement from OLPC in the Frequently Asked Questions section:

Why are these laptops going to children in developing nations when there are needy children in the U.S.?
In the U.S., the average expenditure for education is $7,500 dollars per child. In developing countries, the average expenditure is typically less than $300 dollars per child. One Laptop Per Child is initially focused on where the need is most urgent. A number of U.S. states have approached One Laptop Per Child and expressed interest in the program, and in the long run, One Laptop Per Child hopes to work with those states and help children everywhere.

Not that the rules have ever stopped him and his cohorts before.  Yet, I’m optomistic that Langford and Katapodis can pull this off… IN THE LONG RUN.

BTW, want to buy one for yourself or some Birmingham school child?  You’ve got to buy two and give one away (no, you don’t choose to whom).  Do it today… the window closes in 9 short days!


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