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Hamilton School District Leasing 700 Laptops for Almost $400,000

The district is leasing the laptops to help students become college and career ready.

In order to make technology more accessible to Hamilton students, the school board approved leasing 700 laptops for four years, according to the Hamilton School Board highlights. 

This move is meant to help students become college and career ready, as well as get students used to being assessed in an on-line environment, which the state's new Smarter Balanced Assessments will require.

Computer labs in the district are usually booked throughout the school day, said Information Technology Manager Ryan McMillan in the meeting highlights. Laptops will be made on mobile cart that can be wheeled into classrooms.

Hamilton High School and Templeton Middles School will each have 150 laptops; 135 will go to Woodside Elementary; 120 will go to March Elementary; 75 will go Lannon Elementary; 60 will go to Maple Avenue Elementary; and there will be 10 spare laptops.

Leasing the laptops for four years will cost the district $399,026, which will come from the district's technology equipment budget. The district will also own 47 mobile carts for a cost of $112,719 that will house 15 laptops each when the lease is up.

Luke February 20, 2013 at 06:23 AM
So they are leasing computers for nearly $600 each. They could buy and own a Google computer for $200. I'm sure they could have purchased standard computers in bulk for the same amount or less.
Luke February 20, 2013 at 06:27 AM
Correction: Google Chrome computers are $249. But other companies sell decent computers in bulk for less than the district leased them for.
Chris February 20, 2013 at 04:15 PM
Luke, I'll agree that the cost seems high, but a few things to keep in mind. 1. Chrome computers generally won't run an entire Office suite, as most college bound students will be using. Not to mention specific education software for use in the elementary schools. 2. Leasing costs generally include maintenance/warranty to help cover repair costs. Outright owning the computers is great, but they then either have to pay for repairs on a break/fix basis or hire on an IT specialist to maintain all of these laptops. 3. Every few years, the laptops will become obsolete. Meaning a whole new round of replacement costs. We can legitimately argue whether or not the laptops are necessary, but going after the leasing costs isn't (in my mind) the best argument to make.
Chris February 20, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Although...$2400/mobile cart seems steep. I'd have to see the specs on a piece of rolling furniture to justify that cost.
Luke February 20, 2013 at 09:23 PM
Good points!

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