5 ways to save money, spend smarter, and make better use of current resources
As the chief management analyst for the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) in Bakersfield, Calif., Michelle Plumbtree has gotten up close and personal with a number of educational technology professionals and departments—many of which were struggling to balance classroom technology and infrastructure needs against limited institutional budgets.
And she says ed tech departments should consider rethinking a few things as technology becomes a larger part of school budgets.
“The area of technology is expanding too quickly, and it’s becoming more and more expensive to keep up with,” says Plumbtree, whose organization was created under AB1200, a California state law enacted after the bankruptcy of Richmond School District and the fiscal collapse of a few other California districts. And while Plumbtree says that many districts are “getting there” on the technology front, the financial aspect of that charge tends to trip up even the most financially savvy district.
Budgeting for the future, for example, is a particularly onerous task for ed tech departments that have to not only address current needs, but also future requirements. “If schools don’t have solid systems and networks in place now, they’re going to be in trouble down the line,” says Plumbtree, “both in terms of the technology itself and the related funding.”
To districts looking to get out in front of that challenge and make good financial decisions now, Plumbtree offers these five often-overlooked strategies: