The Spokane Public School District announced plans on Thursday to allow students in kindergarten through 12th grade to use the bitcoin network to purchase textbooks and other school supplies.
Kathy Gannon, a spokesperson for the Spokane Public schools, said the district is using the digital currency to fund the district’s school supplies program, which was created by the nonprofit group the Spokane Education Partnership.
Gannon said the system would allow students to purchase school supplies through an online shop where they can choose from a wide variety of vendors.
She said students will receive a QR code that will be used to pay for the items, which include school supplies, classroom materials, and other items.
The QR code is sent to the school and then an email address is sent with a voucher that students can redeem for books, supplies, and digital currency.
Students will be able to purchase books and supplies through the online shop.
Students can redeem their voucher for a $5 Amazon gift card or a $10 Starbucks gift card.
The voucher will be sent to their email address once they have redeemed it, Gannon said.
Gannon did not provide details on the purchase price or voucher redemption methods.
A district spokesperson said the program was a pilot program that began on January 1 and has been in operation since August.
The district hopes to launch the program fully by June 30.
The spokesperson did not say whether students would be able, at any point, to use bitcoins to purchase physical school supplies or other items at the school.
Gerry Sussman, the district superintendent, said he was confident that students would use the voucher to buy school supplies that were already available.
He added that the voucher will also allow the district to provide students with free textbooks.
Students have to use a school-issued ID card, a voucher, or other method to purchase the items.
Sussmann said the school district has also developed a system that allows students to access their voucher within the district network.
He said the voucher system was developed to address students’ concerns about security and privacy issues.
Groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has filed a class action lawsuit against the district over its bitcoin system, have pushed back on concerns that students could be using the system to purchase virtual goods, but the district has not publicly commented on that.
The district’s voucher system allows students access for one year.
Students can then request to purchase more items through the voucher, but they can only do so once they’ve been enrolled in the school’s regular school day.
The system is similar to the way that many other public schools are using bitcoin to purchase digital goods, including textbooks, electronics, and books.
The school district said in a statement that the vouchers would be available through the same system that students already have access to for purchasing digital goods.
The announcement comes at a time when many other states are considering whether to introduce their own version of bitcoin education.
The Federal Trade Commission recently released a list of six states that have a bitcoin education initiative that is not being followed by other states.
A few other states, including Utah and Maine, are also considering introducing bitcoin education programs.
In December, Maine announced it would open a Bitcoin Education Center to help students learn about bitcoin.
States that have introduced bitcoin education initiatives are not alone.
In 2016, Illinois became the first state in the nation to introduce a bitcoin curriculum and began accepting the cryptocurrency in July of this year.
California and Vermont are also working on creating their own versions of bitcoin courses.
The state of Utah introduced a virtual bitcoin education program earlier this year that is now open for students to participate in.
The program is designed to help educate students about bitcoin, the cryptocurrency, and its uses.