Schools increasingly need to make every dollar count.
Before federal aid rescued school districts across the country, many school leaders gazed into the financial abyss in the spring and summer of 2020. With skyrocketing technology costs, demand for remote learning services, and reductions in states’ per-pupil funding allocations, schools increasingly faced a reality in which every single dollar required careful allocation.
Even after receiving federal aid, school leaders still face tough choices when it comes to planning their budgets and allocating scarce funds. A choice between a classroom library or a new science curriculum can be agonizing for any educator, as can a decision to forego the latest-and-greatest technology in favor of a cheaper, more cost-effective option.
At CTS, we believe school leaders shouldn’t be forced to undermine their instructional priorities due to technology-related costs. Below, we outline the toll school technology costs can exact on school budgets and outline a number of ways in which CTS can help your school accomplish its technology goals without breaking the bank.
Technology costs can quickly consume a school’s budget.
When most people think of school technology, they probably think of classrooms filled with Chromebooks, teacher laptops, projectors, and SMART boards. While these items are essential to an effective school technology program, they don’t encompass the full range of technology products schools are forced to purchase.
Servers, routers, switches, and wireless internet access points, for instance, are equally essential to a school’s technology program and often cost thousands of dollars to purchase, install, and maintain throughout the school year. Without these items, classroom technology like student laptops wouldn’t be able to connect to the internet, teachers wouldn’t be able to access the school’s student information system, and the school’s other technology-related investments would have little impact.
Both the necessity of educational technology and the accompanying costs such items entail place school leaders in a bind: they’re often forced to choose between providing these and other pieces of hardware to their students and teachers and pursuing other instructional priorities that come with similarly high costs.
CTS helps schools manage their devices effectively to make the most of their existing inventory.
For starters, CTS can help schools manage their existing device inventory effectively so that they don’t end up needlessly replacing student and staff devices each year. By creating a “golden source” of student and teacher device tracking, CTS can help school leaders pinpoint the status of every device in their school building, down to the classroom level.
By instituting systems that keep track of which devices are working properly, which need repair, and are out of commission entirely, CTS can help schools accurately forecast the number of new devices they’ll need each year.
These insights have implications far beyond the school’s technology program. For example, suppose a school leader knows she can forego a planned technology purchase in excess of $500. In that case, she can stock a new classroom library, purchase a new science curriculum kit, or invest in professional development she otherwise couldn’t.
Similarly, by supporting schools in their forward-planning efforts, CTS can help non-instructional leaders conduct an effective school close-out at the end of each school year. As part of this effort, the school can develop protocols for collecting, tagging, and inventorying its existing technology. Taking accurate stock of their hardware at the end of the school year can further cement school leaders’ understanding of their next-year technology needs and free-up financial resources that would otherwise go to waste.
For schools participating in E-rate, CTS can fulfill your bid on time and in compliance with budgetary constraints.
Of course, for schools that currently don’t partner with CTS, our team can implement your school’s E-rate bid in a timely, cost-effective manner, potentially saving thousands of dollars in the process. Routers, switches, and other critical IT infrastructure don’t come cheap; schools that make effective use of the E-rate program and, crucially, partner with a reliable school IT firm can help mitigate the costs of these and other crucial school technology items.
At CTS, we help schools accomplish their unique missions.
Our team has worked with more than 60 schools across the United States to manage their technology costs and accomplish their unique missions. By working closely with school leadership at each step of the planning process, our team can design an educational technology program that aligns with the school’s academic goals in a fiscally responsible manner.
Even if a school can’t accomplish all of its technology goals in a single year, our team will collaborate with school leaders to plan their technology-related spending years in advance, all while ensuring the integrity of the school’s broader academic mission. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help your school accomplish its unique mission.