Computers for Learning puts information technology in classrooms
Each year, federal government agencies donate hundreds of pieces of computer equipment to local schools and eligible community groups. These donations are facilitated through the U.S. General Services Administration's Computers for Learning Program, which allows public, private or parochial schools and educational non-profit groups to “shop” for excess computer equipment available from federal agencies.
"School districts facing shrinking budgets and tough choices can make those choices a little easier by participating in the Computers for Learning Program," said GSA Regional Administrator Ruth Cox. "The program is a great way for schools to keep up-to-date with today's technology without having to expend precious resources. It makes sense for the government; it makes sense for the schools; and it makes sense for the environment, all while bringing a world of knowledge to our children’s classrooms.”
GSA is responsible for disposing, on behalf of the federal government, around 10,000 computers every week. They’re often only three years old, but with a long useable life ahead of them. GSA works with schools across the country to match the nation’s classrooms with the federal government’s gently used information technology hardware.
GSA plays an important role in supporting and facilitating this effort, but ultimately the success of the Computers for Learning Program is dependent on school districts actively participating and scooping up computers and other equipment for no cost.
The Summerville High School in Tuolumne, California recently took part in the program, receiving 65 Dell laptop computers, 20 LCD monitors and 20 keyboards for their new student technology lab. The school experienced cost savings in the amount of $96,500 (based on original acquisition cost) and had a fully outfitted lab for their students to use.
The GSA Computers for Learning Program is one of several federal initiatives that help to support President Barack Obama's commitment to education by allowing government agencies to donate surplus computers and related equipment to schools and qualifying nonprofit educational organizations. The program, established by President Bill Clinton under Executive Order 12999, helps make computer technology an integral part of every classroom and encourages the use of innovative educational software. This effort also helps support President Obama’s commitment to zero waste in government by ensuring that surplus equipment is put to use rather than ending up in landfills.
While federal agencies are able to donate the equipment directly to schools, GSA helps facilitate the process by sponsoring computersforlearning.gov. Schools and eligible organizations can register online and then browse available equipment.
Since 2006, the GSA Computers for Learning Program has provided 357,304 pieces of excess computer equipment worth $317,463,939 to thousands of eligible schools and organizations across the United States.