As a former teacher I see the need for good software, and I understand the "I don't have the time to learn how to use new programs" excuse that I hear frequently. Well, let's talk about it - from my perspective what I am seeing is that a lot of folks have learned how to use a specific product instead of learning a skill. There is one point worth mentioning: moving to use an open-standards program (say OpenOffice) will help you become less dependent on the current distribution of MS Word (and, yes, there are changes you will have to learn anyway with every new release) and allow you to use the skill (word processing) for it's intended purpose (communication.)
There is no 100% guarantee that every Open Source program is going to perform exactly the same as it's proprietary counterpart, but the same is true with different versions of the same product. Ever tried opening and old version of MS Word? The transition is not always smooth, but by using Open Source there is a built in way of assuring access to the information that is being retrieved, and that is open access to the code that created the document. That may sound like mumbo jumbo geek talk, but it is a fundamental difference between Open Source programs and others: you can see the code, and if you can, then you will have access to your documents for many years to come.
You can read and listen to a dialog between a concerned citizen (worried about the moneys being wasted on proprietary software) and a district's legal counsel <here>.