Across the United States, school districts experience limited budgets. Time and again administrative staff members try to make the most out of resources, but teachers in Allentown, Pennsylvania felt that purchasing brand new furniture wasn’t necessary.
About 10 workstations and filing cabinets were purchased for secretaries who worked on the second floor in the school district’s administrative building, the Express-Times reported. Allentown Education Association president Debra Tretter told the news source that the school district recently said that the budget may face a $10.6 million deficit this year. If money was truly a problem, then why did the school district purchase new quality office furniture?
“I would like to make it clear this is not about the secretaries using these work spaces,” Tretter said. “I’m sure they would rather see the money used for students and programs or in their paychecks, and I’m equally sure they did not ask for new workstation furniture.”
Despite Tretter’s comments on purchasing the furniture, state documents show that Allentown allocates about $35,000 of the budget every year for office furnishings, if necessary. Superintendent Russell Mayo added that some of the existing furniture was more than 25 years old — filing cabinets were unable to withstand the weight of documents and in danger of collapsing.
Initially, reports said that the furniture cost over $350,000 but Mayo’s 25-page document found that the grand total for the pieces were only $35,934.66. Although the price tag is significantly lower, it still presents a problem for Allentown residents: the school district went over budget.
However, there are ways to purchase commercial furnishings without paying thousands of dollars. Instead of going with a brand new desk, another option is to purchase lightly used or remanufactured pieces of business furniture readily available for daily use. Since these pieces are in stock, the wait time for assembly is not an issue, so businesses can save time and commit more money toward other expenses.