McPherson High School students will be receiving their new Chromebooks in the near future, as the USD 418 Board of Education gave the go-ahead Monday night to purchase the 775 computers needed for Project Connect.
District Technology Director Larry Chaney presented the board with four bids, with the lowest two coming from a company called CDW-G and McPherson Business Solutions. CDW-G was the lower bid, coming in $2,224.25 lower than McPherson Business Solutions, but the board voted in favor of keeping their money locally off the recommendation of Chaney and USD 418 Business Manager Gordon Mohn.
“I don't think that $2,000 is that significant of a difference,” Chaney said. “Both vendors, CDW and McPherson Business Solutions, say that they have the distributors have the Chromebooks in stock. So we can order right away and have them delivered however long it takes for the shipping.”
The school board approved the purchase of the Chromebooks at a cost of $147,451.50.
Along with that, they also approved a four-year lease from Home State Bank to help facilitate the purchase of the computers for an amount of $225,000 to be paid back over four years. Chaney said this is a switch from previous years, where the district has used Apple Leasing for the purchase of new computers.
“But this year, we did not purchase a single Apple item and they told me they cannot do a finance package for us if we don't purchase any Apple products,” Chaney said. “So we had to scramble and find some other finance companies that handle this sort of thing.”
Mohn said the money not used by towards the of the Chromebooks will be used for additional budgeted technology purchases.
“Typically, we'll get quotes on those Promethean [interactive whiteboards],” Mohn said as an example to the school board. “And we'll find the best buy on Promethean boards and add that to the lease. Again, we send that invoice to Home State, they write the check, they keep ownership of it until we complete the lease requirements.”
Both items passed the school board unanimously.