San Diego

School District Meets to Address IT Technician Shortage

Due to short staffing, technicians say it can take up to a month just to resolve one ticket.

IT technicians working with the San Diego Unified School District are pleading for the board to increase their staff, saying there aren’t enough of them to keep up with all the devices on campuses.

District technicians said they went from having 885 unresolved tickets at the start of 2018 to more than 2,500 in 23 days. Due to short staffing, technicians say it can take up to a month just to resolve one ticket.

Technicians presented their dilemma in front of the district board Tuesday and asked that the district

Nat Krieger is one of five technicians supporting nearly 200 different district sites. Kreiger said “catastrophic” budget cuts led to an 80-percent reduction in the IT department workforce. Even before the cuts, Krieger said, the department was barely getting by.

“None of these broken computers fix themselves,” Krieger said. “There’s no magic here. It takes human beings to fix them.”

In 2009, voters passed a multi-million dollar bond that promised to fund technology upgrades in district classrooms, and the district is under pressure to make good on the investment.

“I’m hoping that both to support our student and teachers, but also to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money, that they will restore us to, again, I have to stress, what we had a year ago which was minimal. We could just make it work,” Krieger said.

School Board Trustee Richard Barrera explained how the district, which is already staring into the eyes of additional budget cuts, struggles with committing funding among a wide scope of issues and responsibilities.

“Do we increase operational support for IT, or do we raise class sizes?” Barrera said.

At the end of the day, Barrera said, there simply isn’t enough funding for education in the state of California.

“We need more counselors, we need more nurses, we need more teachers, we need more early-childhood [resources],” Barrerea said. “We need all these things, and we need IT support, and that's where these tough choices are always necessary.”

The board said it would analyze how the Governor’s budget plan will impact the district and move forward from there.

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