COLUMBIA CITY â€” The Whitley County Consolidated School (WCCS) board approved a computer lease proposal at their work session Monday.
Anne Plunkett, technology director, said while the schools usually buy computers, there are other ways to obtain the equipment needed.
â€śWe are hoping that leasing may be a viable alternative for that,â€ť said Plunkett.
Due to state requirements for online testing, the amount of equipment needed to meet those requirements has significantly increased.
WCCSâ€™ current laptops are four years old.
â€śThey are considerably worn out, and they need to be replaced,â€ť said Plunkett.
WCCS is looking to lease 500 laptops with an annual fee of $121,818. This lease would be for four years, and result in a cost of $487,272. If the schools were to pay for and buy these computers the purchase price would be $473,250.
Dr. Patricia Oâ€™Connor, WCCS superintendent, said while she did not want to lease at first, she later came to realize it was the better option.
â€śThe computers, with the use they get, they are worn out in four years,â€ť said Oâ€™Connor. â€śMy mind has been changed.â€ť
Board members said it was unusual for them to approve items in a work session, and many of them said they were hearing this topic for the first time.
However, the board also considered that delay on the approval could push back the time frame for laptop delivery to the schools.