Educational institutions must maximize their year-end budgets by getting the jump on 2021. David Lopez, Senior Manager of Strategic Alliances for ScreenBeam, provided some much-needed tips and advice for educators looking to make the most of their 2020 budget without leaving available funds on the table.
Lopez admitted that 2020 was a unique and challenging year for education. Institutions have had to learn new technology and new ways to communicate during the pandemic. How have all of these changes affected education and school districts’ budgets?
“What we’ve seen in the education technology industry is that a lot of district’s budgets have stretched when it comes to the buying cycle, when they’re able to buy things, and how they’re looking to use that money,” Lopez said. “The government provided some relief to a lot of districts, so when they’re wrapping up their budgets and looking at how to utilize their money, a lot of them are saying we’re not going to spend money for right now, but for what’s going to happen in the future.”
While the CARES Act provides funds to schools to help with budget shortfalls due to the ongoing pandemic, schools must utilize those funds by Dec. 30. And there is a lot of interest in purchasing technology products to assist with the challenges COVID-19 brought to the classroom. The problem? High demand created supply chain issues.
“You’re seeing a lot of districts want to purchase devices or move on purchasing devices, but they’re not necessarily able to get them,” Lopez said.
Ultimately, school districts want to provide classroom solutions to make a better and safer environment for students and teachers. And Lopez said ScreenBeam’s focus is on being part of those solutions.
“We’ve had school districts come to us to figure out how to put our products in place for when their teachers do come back, and, in some schools, they’re already back and making that experience better,” Lopez said. “At our core, (ScreenBeam) is meant to be a device that you plug into your screen and your projector, and you don’t ever have to touch it again.”
Megan Lipinczyk is Strategic Alliance Manager for Education.