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What Can a School District Buy for $100,000?

Patch answers the question our holiday contest poses.

With Patch organizing a holiday light contest that awards the , we wanted to see what that money could buy. If you simply take a photo of the great holiday lights at your house and add it to this page, that 100 grand could soon be in local school children's hands. 

Like kids heading off to the school store with a crisp $5 bill in their pockets, district officials in your town could be answering the question of what to do with that money. Instead of painstaking choices among rubber pencil grips, sweet erasable pens or Hannah Montana stickers, administrators will weigh among curriculum, facility or activity purchases for students at their elementary, middle and/or high schools.

For this exercise, I evaluated publicly available information from area school district websites to put together a wish list (in no particular order) for purchases up to and including $100,000. I tried to limit it to one-off purchases, as it's not prudent in budgeting to use funds to pay for staff spending when you can't account for that funding the next year. Also, some purchases are based on estimates that could be wrong due to a bulk rate (100 computers at $2,000 might not equate to 50 computers at $1,000), but please bear with me.

This is one way a school could spend the Patch donation:

  • 10 iPads with charging station for music class at  in Radnor Township—$7,200
  • Life guard services during the  swim team season—$9,700
  • Hot plates and stirrers for the science department at —$11,697
  • A SmartBoard, projector and 10 mini laptops to  in Devon—$5,523.90
  • Partial demolition of roof and auditorium at —$12,709
  • Foundation of Dr. Marvin Gold Garden at —$5,000
  • Purchase and convert three vehicles to bi-fuel natural gas in —$8,615.21
  • 16 trees planted at  and —$600
  • Publish the Science Journal at —$1,500
  • And within the School District of Philadelphia, according to its technology price list, available for purchase at schools in Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy and Roxborough-Manayunk are:  
    • 10 21.5-inch iMacs—$19,390
    • Two interactive SmartBoards bundles with 32 remotes for formative assessment each—$11,677.22
    • 100 Microsoft Office 2011 licenses for standard Macs—$4,886

The grand total on that aid to our school system: $98,498.33. That means you could add all of those supplies, activities and facility updates to local schools and still have more than $1,500 to spare.

For more information, visit the contest page. The submission period ends Dec. 26.

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