- According to a report released to EdWeek Market Brief by the Technology for Education Consortium last week, titled "How School Districts Can Save (Billions) on Edtech," K-12 schools could save a staggering $3 billion a year total by sharing the costs of ed tech.
- To arrive at that number, researchers examined pricing data from 130 districts of varying sizes nationally and used the lower 20% pricing differential for products, EdWeek Market Brief reported, noting that the projected Chromebook savings totaled $500 million.
- Additionally, the report found that some districts paid as much as $90 more for identical Chromebook models, as much as $115 higher for iPads and several dollars more per license for popular software.
The idea of schools or districts joining forces to share costs isn't a new one. Some 35 districts in New York recently entered a contract with Lower Hudson Regional Information Center for a "managed IT" model that would see each receive support from a pool of around 200 LHRIC employees. And in Illinois, Glenbrook High School District 225 partnered in 2014 with two elementary school districts to form the Northfield Township Technology Consortium, aiming to purchase more bandwidth at a lower price.
As education continues its digital transition, tech adoption is increasingly something no school or district can overlook going forward. If sharing costs can save money or help budgets stretch further for a wider variety of resources and services — and, more importantly, expand access to tech to a greater number of students — it's incumbent on administrators to weigh all options.