The School Computer Equipment Program was authorized by the 1999 Legislature (18-6-101, MCA) and is administered by the OPI.
Montana's School Computer Equipment Program
The program collects computer equipment from state and federal sources, and private donations to distribute at no cost to Montana's K-12 public schools. The equipment is stored in Helena and is operational, but all data (including operating systems) is removed for security purposes.
The program basics:
- Schools are responsible for traveling to Helena to retrieve equipment and must have an appointment.
- Equipment cannot be reserved as space in the storage facility is limited.
- The inventory of surplus equipment varies from day to day
- The program maintains a waiting list of schools interested in equipment and schools are contacted about their eligibility, usually via email.
- Contact Scott Buswell to seek information, put your school's name on the waiting list, or to check the availability of equipment. Please provide the following info in your email: name, school district, school and phone number.
In 2018, 1,882 computers and 2,689 pieces of other IT equipment (monitors, printers, toner, etc...) were distributed to over 40 Montana public schools and districts across the state. As of January 2019, 31,176 computers and 51,803 pieces of equipment have been distributed since the inception of the program.
1450 Hiawatha Street
Normal Hours: Tuesday - Friday. 8:00am to 12:00pm
An appointment is necessary and can be set up outside of normal working hours.
Map To School Computer Equipment Warehouse
|Heading west out of Helena toward Missoula.
|Two blocks west of the AK Café on Euclid Avenue take a right hand turn on Hiawatha Street.
|Go down 1.5 blocks and look for a light blue warehouse with dark blue trim.
Discounts for Schools
By law, tribal governments and Montana's political subdivisions (including public school districts) may purchase supplies and services in cooperation with the State of Montana. This is called cooperative purchasing and often provides substantial savings to participating agencies when compared to purchasing on their own. In addition to better pricing, it can also be faster and more efficient procurement by avoiding the bid and contract negotiation process districts would otherwise need to conduct. Cooperative purchase contracts typically have all the necessary terms and conditions already agreed upon and are "ready to use" for use by local governments and school districts.
The State of Montana requires that interested school districts sign a Cooperative Purchasing Memorandum of Understanding prior to utilizing state contracts. This agreement must be signed by a school district official and returned to the State Procurement Bureau. Approved school districts can purchase goods using the Montana eMarketCenter or can choose to purchase directly from the contract vendor.
Please visit the State of Montana Procurement Bureau's Cooperative Purchasing Webpage for more information on how to participate and what goods and services are available for cooperative purchase.