School board to discuss tweaking Apple Lease

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 26, 2017

SALISBURY — Rowan-Salisbury Schools’ lease with Apple, Inc. was approved by county commissioners on March 20, but on Monday the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education will discuss making a needed adjustment to the agreement.

The change comes after the district was informed by Apple that the iPad Air 2 would be discontinued. According to its original lease, the school system was planning on ordering more than 15,000 of the devices for approximately $5.2 million of the total $14 million lease.

According to the board’s online agenda, Apple informed the district of the change on March 23, and offered to supply the district with its new model for a lower price.

“We really have a good relationship with Apple,” Andrew Smith, chief strategy officer for the district, said.

Under the new agreement, the district would receive the same number of the newer model, which has similar specifications to the old iPad Air 2, for a lower price — approximately $4.4 million. This would lower the district’s three-year lease with Apple to roughly $13 million.

“So that represents a substantial savings to us,” Smith said.

Board Chair Josh Wagner said that, if altered, the lease would not need to go back before commissioners unless a major component was changed or the amount had increased.

The board will meet Monday in the Wallace Educational Board Room, 500 N. Main St., at 5 p.m. Public comment will be held at 6 p.m.

In other business the board will:

  • Discuss scheduling for summer school programs.
  • Continue with its budget planning process for the 2017-18 fiscal year.