Managing technology efficiently in California K–12 schools: Policies & practices for minimizing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

Caspary, K., Kusserow, T., Lavin, J., & Movassaghi, M.
To assess the total cost of ownership (TCO) of computer technology in California's K–12 public schools, the authors of this thesis studied two high schools, one elementary school, and one school district that implemented successful technology programs. The study covered four fundamental issues in technology ownership that add costs to schools and create problems for educators: (1) lack of technical expertise; (2) lack of sustained funding; (3) lack of incentive to manage technology efficiently; and (4) difficulties in managing technology programs. The authors recommend three state policies to help schools and school districts identify, plan, and manage TCO for technology. The first requires schools to have separate budget accounts for technology in the school budget. The second divides state funding into four phases, with each contingent on a school’s readiness to proceed to the next phase. The third creates incentives for school districts to provide technology support more efficiently.
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