At today’s Leon County School Board meeting, the Board approved the first step in a plan to provide a device to every student in the district. The Board authorized negotiating the terms of a four-year lease agreement with American Capital Financial Services for the purchase of an extensive technology package.
The lease agreement will be broken into four annual payments for a maximum total of $11 million. Funding will come from capital outlay, general revenue, and categorical funds.
The agreement will cover 32,500 Chromebooks, as well as cases, warranties, and licenses. This includes 5% in spare devices to be used in the event of repairs or problems with devices.
Additionally, the agreement covers 900 charging stations—one for each elementary homeroom class in order to allow elementary students to leave their devices on campus during the school day. The agreement also covers setup and repair services from Technology Integration Group and Google tenant management services.
Superintendent Rocky Hanna said families may be able to purchase device insurance for $25 per year.
Hanna said approving the initiative is a historical moment for the Leon County School system.
“It’s risky, and there’s probably a reason why Leon County Schools didn’t go down this path for years now, but it is absolutely the right time,” Hanna said. “This is not just in response to the pandemic. It was the right thing to do notwithstanding the pandemic. We should have done this even if we weren’t sent home for the last nine weeks of the school year. It’s absolutely the right thing to do for moving our school district forward.”
After negotiating the terms of the agreement, staff plans to deliver devices to students by Aug. 1, 2020.