Answer by Tracy Fee, Technology Coordinator for Vinton County Local Schools

I treat my technology budget similar to how I treat my personal budget. If I would question the purchase personally, then I question the benefits of the purchase for the district. I also always encourage my teachers to be on the lookout for other funding options such as grants.

Make sure to always speak with your teachers. Make sure the hardware you are buying is what the teachers actually need. It doesn’t do anyone any good to purchase hardware or software that the teachers don’t understand or won’t use.

Don’t be afraid to purchase refurbished products! (But do your research on the company.) We purchase certified refurbished PC desktops and laptops and even MacBooks, which saves us about $200 per device. These typically come with a warranty in case of any hardware failure but honestly, I have rarely had to use it!

Lastly, participating in the e-Rate program is a must! All schools and libraries may apply, but there are certain eligibility requirements.This can be a significant amount of funds saved to help offset the cost of internet access and network infrastructure allowing your funds to be used elsewhere.

Ask our panel of K-12 leaders any questions you have regarding K–12 facilities and maintenance management.