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FWCS plans to buy 300 laptops

Will be used by special ed teachers

– The Fort Wayne Community Schools board unanimously approved the purchase of 300 laptops for special education teachers totaling about $265,000, including software licenses and preparation services.

The district received a 49 percent discount from Hewlett Packard Direct resulting in a price below U.S. General Services Administration pricing.

The purchase did not require a competitive bidding process because the total cost was below GSA pricing. The agency provides supplies and services to government agencies.

FWCS Director of Technology Jack Byrd said the laptops are used primarily to fill out Individual Education Plans for special education students.

The district uses a customized system to fit its education plan needs, he said.

This purchase replaces laptops purchased four years ago at a price “significantly lower than what we paid last year,” Byrd said.

The laptops will be bought through a zero-interest lease agreement using funds from a federal, special education grant.

At the end of the four-year lease the district will have the option to keep all or some of the laptops.

For each laptop returned, the district will be refunded $60.

No comments at hearing

In other business, the board held the mandatory public hearing on its proposed 2013 budget, totaling $288 million including a 3.2 percent property tax increase.

No one came forward to speak during the public hearing. The board is scheduled to approve the budget at its next meeting Oct. 22.