Manchester Board of Education approved a contract Monday during the regular May board meeting for a three year contract with Lenovo Financial Services for student Chromebooks.
Director of Schools Dr. Joey Vaughn told the board that the contract with a new company will provide 100 more computers for students for an estimated $4 more than the previous contract.
Director of Technology Mark Howell explained that he has a colleague that has a bid of larger quantity that the system can “piggyback” on and get a better deal.
“For the same money we can buy 100 more Chromebooks than what we’ve had with our previous vendor.
The three year lease will replace 290 Chromebooks (currently at Westwood Middle School) plus 100 earmarked for the elementary schools.
The three year lease is within the budget to be approved with the Manchester City budget and includes language that if the city fails to fund the system the contract would be nullified and hardware returned. These stipulations allow for the system to enter into a contract that extends past the fiscal year (an issue that the board has encountered in past properly lease agreements).
The lease offers negative interest, Howell said, “It cost less to lease than it does to buy.”
The total cost of equipment is $73,226.40 and the annual lease payment will be $24,408.80. At the end of the term, the system may, according to the bid, return some or all of the equipment, purchase said equipment or renew some or all the units for a fixed term at fair market value renewal rate.