The Minneapolis Star Tribune published this article this morning:
Minneapolis Schools over the recent contract for copying and printing at the district's two administrative buildings. There are claims of favoritism. However, this post is not about the contract. It is about the fact that my district more than $1 million a year on copying and printing at it's administrative offices. More than a million dollars. The cost of a full time teacher, if I recall correctly, is about $88,000 (including benefits). That's 12 teachers.
One of the comments on the Star Tribune page summed up my feelings:
This is the 21st century. Why are they spending a million bucks on copying and printing?Exactly! But what are some of the options?
- Have departments use the district wiki server to collaborate on items.
- Switch the entire district to Google Apps of Education. Have them share documents that way. You can publish them so that others can read but not change or publish so that you can collaborate.
- Use the district Moodle server.
- Use any number of Web 2.0 tools to replace many of the paper items that are used.
- Provide mandatory training on paperless tools.
Lets push the thinking at the a district level. Model what we are expecting in classrooms. Money is not something we, as a district can throw around. We need to be saving more as the district struggles more. We need to use the resources that we have. We need to change our thinking.
[I'm assuming that this printing figure is just for internal printing at the district's offices. Publications to the public, I believe, are printed by an outside agency.]