Low offer to buy G-L school bonds charges less than 1% interest
The purchase of just over $250,000 in laptop computers and software was approved this week by the Glen Lake Board of Education based on the successful sale of bonds OK’d earlier this year by voters.
The board voted unanimously Monday night to purchase iPads for students in grades 5-8 as recommended last month by technology director Katri O’Neill. The purchase was $161,330. Because the computers were purchased directly through Apple no bids were taken. However, the district was able to secure a discount for educational institutions, Superintendent Joan Groening said.
Sturdy cases to protect the laptops were purchased by the board at a cost of $23,818. It was the lowest bid submitted.
Three bids were submitted for the purchase of 76 teacher laptops, plus 66 docking stations. Insight Public Sector got the sale as it had the lowest of three bids submitted at $64,680, Groening said.
Software allowing students and teachers to access their work remotely was also approved for purchase this week. Stoneware Software was purchased for $10,700 and is licensed for up to 900 devices.
Airwatch software will also be installed at a cost of $6,280. It is used to filter material content and manage all the devices on the computer system.
The purchases were paid through funds from a $1.91 million bond narrowly approved in May.
As the first phase of the bond sale nears completion, it appears that the school district won’t be paying much interest to borrow the money.
Eleven financial institutions from places including St. Louis, Chicago, Kentucky, Ohio and Wisconsin offered to buy the bonds with interest quotes ranging from .99 percent to 1.4 percent, Groening said.
The lowest interest rate was submitted by State Savings Bank in Empire. Sale of $1.21 million in bonds will not be finalized until Aug. 8. As a result, no purchase orders for the computer equipment and software will be issued before then, Groening said.
Meanwhile, Groening is scheduled to meet with teachers on July 31 to continue discussions to implement the technology plan for grades 9-12.