Laptop computer program on hold in Memphis

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - It is a program designed to help students who are struggling in school. But the Memphis City School System now has a battle of its own. Keeping the district's $5 million dollar laptop computer program from being on hold.

"It's a program that's needed, useful to help students. The delay is not in, Ok. No one can use the software that's not the case," School Board president Tomeka Hart said.

But some students cannot use the computers they once had.

That's because thousands have either been stolen, destroyed or simply disappeared.

"I think we've lost not quite 2,000 of the nearly 8,000 computers we've had," Hart said.

A spokesperson with Memphis City Schools said a contract to get the program back up and running was just approved on October 6th.

The district is also working to get replacement computers. And school officials are considering installing tracking devices to help protect against theft.

Meanwhile, taxpayers we talked to said they cannot understand why the program was not fully operational from the beginning.

"Oversight should be much better. Someone should've been in charge of the program and it should've been monitored from the implementation all the way till the end of it," taxpayer James Barthol said.

Memphis City School leaders promise to do the best they can to protect an important investment but said they still do not know when the laptop program will be fully operational again.

Click here to e-mail Jamel Major.