School Districts Should Leverage Technology Leasing to Acquire New Equipment

Last week, Grosse Pointe Public Schools in Michigan saw voters defeat a $50 million proposed technology bond issue to replace/add generators, upgrade phone systems, add new security cameras and doors, and install a private fiber-optic network.

According to an article in the Detroit Free Press, the proposal was defeated 8,617-3,718 (unofficial results). The 10-year measure would have raised taxes for school purposes by 23%, adding 2.28 mills in the first year and costing the owner of a home with a taxable value of $100,000 an additional $228 a year.

In response to the Grosse Pointe Schools’ defeat, The Detroit News published an editorial on how leasing technology equipment could provide a sustainable answer to the district’s needed upgrades. With the rapid pace of today’s IT, security, energy-efficiency and technology equipment, leasing has become commonplace with many of today’s forward-thinking businesses – although historically school districts have not pursued leasing as an option, according to the article.

Crestmark Equipment Finance has partnered with many technology-based equipment manufacturers and vendors in the IT and security channels to offer municipal equipment leasing programs successfully within neighboring states. These districts and qualified municipalities see the value of leasing and the use of the equipment to stay ahead of the technology curve without risk of technology obsolescence through a direct cash purchase (or bond proposal).

With technology leasing, the school district selects the equipment vendors, the lease term (months), invoicing terms (monthly, quarterly, annually) and the end of lease buyout or renewal. Crestmark Equipment Finance works with their selected equipment providers to develop a fixed rate payment based on the preferred term selected of the school district (standard is 3-5 years).

Crestmark Equipment Finance also serves as an independent, vendor neutral equipment financing company, which means we do not have specific manufacturer ties which allow Crestmark Equipment Finance to lease multiple types of equipment into one lease agreement. For example, we could provide financing for Cisco servers with IBM laptops and Apple iPads, security and access control systems, energy-efficient generators, and even office furniture all bundled into one lease agreement.

At lease end, Crestmark Equipment Finance will work with the school district to offer many lease purchase buyout options: purchase the equipment; renew the lease for a specified time frame; or remove and install new equipment. The school district selects the option that best fits their equipment needs, their teachers and their students.

With school districts winding down over the next few months, Crestmark Equipment Finance can work with municipalities now to line them up for the upcoming school year to get the proper equipment installed during the summer months and ensure everything is operational and ready for September.

For more information about our diverse equipment leasing programs for Michigan school districts (or nationwide), please contact Crestmark Equipment Finance or call 888.999.8050.