RPS School Board could vote on audit of thousands of missing Chromebooks

Richmond

Thanks to the lightweight operating system, some Chromebooks can boot up in as little as eight seconds.

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)–Thousands of Chromebooks at Richmond Public Schools are missing and now school board members are trying to find them.

RPS distributed 22,000 Chromebooks to students for the 2020-2021 school year. Now over 7,000 of those laptops are unaccounted for. The school board was just recently notified of this number and Monday’s meeting could start the process for finding out where they are.

Jonathan Young, Vice Chair of the school board and who represents the fourth district, said there are reports of 7,000 to 9,000 that were not returned. He said those missing laptop computers could cost them over $2.1 million if they are not accounted for.

Families who moved out of the school system could have taken their Chromebooks with them, contributing to at least of the some decrease in supply.

“Some students who attend Richmond Public Schools and who reside in the City of Richmond relocate to Chesterfield, Henrico or out of state all together,” he said. “Some of our schools we have nearly half of our school is mobile.”

Young plans to request an audit of the Chromebooks at Monday’s school board meeting.

The school board members will have to vote on the audit plan in order to get efforts going. Young said he anticipates the board authorizing the audit to identify how many Chromebooks precisely are missing, and to lay out how to improve on distribution and returns going forward.

“This year we’re okay” Young said. “If we were to again lose the same amount of Chromebooks year over year it’s not sustainable.”

Young explained that the district purchased more laptops than were needed, so every student still has access to a digital device this year.

“What we are unsure of is how many of the Chromebooks now are no longer in the possession of our families,” Young said.

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