A new study by the Technology for Education Consortium (TEC) indicates school districts overspend on education technology by at least $3 billion every year, primarily because of a lack of transparency on the part of ed-tech vendors.
Prices on Chromebooks, iPads, and Accelerated Reader 360 licenses vary widely from district to district, with vendor discounts applied to the total cost of purchases muddying what’s actually paid per device or user. In its study of data from 130 school districts, TEC found that prices could differ 20%-40% for both hardware and software, without any correlation to district size.
In the case of Chromebooks, for example, some districts shelled out up to $90 more than others for the same device and service bundle. The TEC study estimates that a single uniform price for Chromebooks across districts could save a total of about $500 million per year.