School board votes to buy 2 new computer systems One will keep track of students, the other will manage fiscal data

August 06, 1998|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

The Baltimore school board will spend $24 million to buy two computer systems -- one to keep track of students and their records and a second to manage budget and financial data.

For years, the city school system has been unable to track its students accurately, despite a 1988 order by a federal judge requiring the system to find a computer system that would detail the progress of special education students.

The new system, which will be paid for over four years with state funds, is expected to help accurately track attendance, enrollment and other key data as well as hold the academic records of each child in the system, according to Roger Reese Jr., the school system's chief financial officer.

Board members voted Tuesday night to award the $14 million contract to National Computer Systems Inc., based in Eden Prairie, Minn.

A $10 million contract, awarded to KPMG Peat Marwick of New York, will help principals keep closer track of their spending, Reese said. Principals plan their budgets annually, and most of the work is not computerized.

"The schools will know what they have spent and what they have available" with the new system, he said. "More and more school districts are moving toward providing that to their schools."

The financial data system will also keep track of payroll and accounts payable.

Reese said one of the deciding factors in awarding the two contracts was whether the firms could have the systems in place by 2000.

Pub Date: 8/06/98

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