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Sneed: Chico wants to put laptops, iPads in the hands, backpacks of state’s school kids

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Updated: December 1, 2013 7:49AM



The eraser set . . .

Sneed has learned State Board of Education chief Gery Chico will roll out a bold technological proposal for state schools Tuesday.

It’s aimed toward replacing textbooks and chalkboards with iPads and laptops.

◆ The $$$ pitch: Chico’s initiative to put technology into the hands of every student statewide would be funded by redirecting $176 million in unused construction funds from the state’s capital program.

◆ Backshot: Chico’s plan for the creation of a “Schools Technology Fund” was part of his platform when he ran for Chicago mayor several years ago.

◆ Backpack: “Instead of taking your backpack home at the end of the day, you’re taking your iPad or laptop home every day,” said a Sneed source.

“It’s moving from the era of textbooks and chalkboards and lectures to iPads and laptops and students taking exams online. It’s the way of the future. Our classrooms definitely need these upgrades,” the source said.

◆ Backup: Chico also will earmark funds for teacher training in the use of technology.

◆ Upshot: Chico advocates eliminating technological inequities for students across Illinois “because it will do as much for learning as all the educational advances in the past century,” the source added. Watch for him to unveil his tech proposal to the City Club of Chicago at Maggiano’s Tuesday.

◆This isn’t the first time Chico has made this proposal: He did so when he was in the throes of the 2011 Dem primary for mayor — a race he lost to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Cop shop . . .

Hurtin’ for certain! Sneed is told Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, the Bronx bulldog, got his chain yanked recently due to a bad back and is experiencing such severe pain, surgery is on the agenda. Get well, Garry.

The Jackson file . . .

Sneed hears former Ald. Sandi Jackson is still looking for a job.

“She has a law degree and wants to work in Washington, where her kids are happy in school,” said a source. “She will have to report to serve her prison sentence after Jesse gets out of prison, and she needs to work to help support her family.”

Word is Sandi may move into her mother’s apartment in Washington, D.C., if the couple’s D.C. home is sold soon to help pay federal fines.

“She’s worried but upbeat and is always there for her children,” said a source. “She is a wonderful mother.”

The royal toe . . .

Oh, no!

England’s Prince Harry, who is scheduled to participate in a 208-mile trek through the South Pole for charity, has broken his toe!

It’s not known whether Harry broke the toe while tippling — in the royal tradition.

Harry “will not be revealing how it happened, it is a private matter,” stated a royal release.

But since Harry’s forging ahead to raise funds for a soldiers’ charity with a stiff upper lip, let’s give the guy a break and let teasing cease.

Bench press . . .

Sneed hears Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown was in the original jury pool that was called for the Natasha McShane baseball bat assault case, which resulted in a guilty verdict late last week. Brown was not selected but spent hours sitting and waiting in the courthouse in the potential jury pool.

I spy . . .

Rocker Rod Stewart stopped in for lunch at RL Grill Friday after doing some shopping in the store . . . Uber Cubbie Ernie Banks, and Kerry and Sarah Wood all stopped by Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse last Tuesday, where the Stanley Cup made an appearance . . . Ben “The O.C.” McKenzie stopped by for dinner recently at Hugo’s Frog Bar . . . ditto actor Treat Williams, in town to film “Chicago Fire.”

Sneedlings . . .

Tuesday’s birthdays: Gabrielle Union, 41; Winona Ryder, 42, and Richard Dreyfuss, 66.



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