Why Oh Wi-Fi!

How budget issues are impacting AITE’s Wi-Fi

In years past, the Wi-Fi at AITE had been quite high quality, with fast upload and download speeds, where videos would load at the snap of a finger. However, this year, the Wi-Fi has been a major issue, one that both students and teachers alike have been complaining about, and for good reason. 

All of the previous high qualities have been lost, and it’s often a struggle to even get a connection that can load a Google Document file, load a video to show a class, or open a worksheet. These are all essential functions that a technology school should have simple and easy access to, and yet while the walls get painted and new in-class television screens are bought, we still have Wi-Fi that struggles to do the bare minimum.

When talking to Principal Tina Rivera about the Wi-Fi issues, her response started to put many pieces together. It all has to do with the way budgeting is done in a school building. “You really have to talk about apples and apples so to speak, if you are looking at why one building gets fixed before another, that would be an apple and an apple,” Rivera said, “ but if you are looking at painting vs. technology, that’s not even the same budget, that’s not even the same ballpark.” 

This explanation tells us why the school has been getting a visual makeover instead of a functional one, because of budgetary restrictions and the two things not sharing a budget. However, it also helps to know that the people in charge of AITE, Rivera, and the school’s Assistant Principal Kristina Colmenares, aren’t the ones making these decisions, but rather the district as a whole.

The same concept is applied to the Promethium Boards, according to Rivera, where the funds for that technology come out of another outside fund, called the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. This fund has specific things requirements for what money can be spent on, and fixing a school’s technological infrastructure, such as Wi-Fi, isn’t one of those things. All of this adds up to the question of: What can you or I as students in this school do to fix this issue?

A lot of these decisions, especially infrastructure ones, are made on the district level, and with the Board of Education (BOE) consisting of officials voted into office, the best thing students can do is to go and voice our opinion and our thoughts at meetings. Whether this is at a meeting of the BOE open to the public, or in an email or phone call to the different members, the best way to get a solution is to be loud and public about your thoughts on the budget and the Wi-Fi. If enough people kindly voice their opinions, real change can happen, making learning and working easier for everyone at AITE, both students and teachers.