Budgeting for the Long Term
From the Field
The Maryland Educational Enterprise Consortium (MEEC) has been organized to provide its members opportunities to license the use of education hardware and software at competitive prices. MEEC also provides its members technology relevant services including training and interaction with the vendor. MEEC membership includes public and private K-16+ institutions, public libraries and museums in the state of Maryland.
Technology planning that takes place in tandem with funding cycles allows for greater alignment of plan initiatives with intended results by creating opportunities for consolidated procurement and device purchasing across departments. Economies of scale are possible when:
- The district recognizes that technology plays a critical role in achieving its goals. The district has a budget that will ensure the implementation of its long-range technology plan and has assigned district staff to monitor the plan.
- The budget includes staffing, infrastructure, hardware, software applications, professional development, support, and contracted services.
- The district seeks funding for technology programs from federal, state, and private resources, as well as from academic departments that are supported by technology. The district explores ways that technology can reduce costs and create efficiencies in other areas of the district budget.
- Maximize grant funding to foster an initiative, or to begin a program. Funding streams must be allocated over time to continue programs started with grant funds. One approach is to build in a budget over time that includes dedicated funding in the budget that matches the original grant amount to sustain a program.
Coordinated planning of device and digital instructional material purchases, professional learning opportunities and technology support can help with overall expenditures and potentially save districts funding. Most critical is ensuring that the technology plan aligns with the strategic academic goals for the district.