School districts are routinely being overcharged by at least $3 billion on ed-tech products, including hardware and software, each year–the equivalent of 54,000 first-year teacher salaries, according to a new study from the Technology for Education Consortium (TEC).

The study on ed-tech purchasing reveals schools spend an estimated $13.2 billion on ed-tech products each year. This includes $4.9 billion on hardware such as tablets, laptops and desktops, along with $8.38 billion on instructional and non-instructional software and content.

The authors note that a lack of price transparency makes it difficult for districts to find cost-efficient options to fund their technology initiatives, resulting in over-spending.

It analyzes pricing data from 130 school districts around the country. TEC found that prices varied between 20 and 40 percent for hardware and software products, with no correlation to district size.

Next page: Huge price discrepancies when different districts purchase the same iPad, Chromebook bundles

About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura