Discontinued projector bulbs pose problem in school system budget


Maya Waldman

North’s classroom projector bulbs are now more expensive than the school system anticipated due to a discontinuation. Photo by Devin Perlo

When the projector bulb flickers out during a lecture, it may take more than unplugging the computer to turn the projector on again. Broken bulbs will no longer be replaced because they are no longer produced by the manufacturer, according to Information Technology (IT) manager Phil Golando.
The school system does not have enough funds to replace old projectors with new ones when they break, so instead it pays to rebuild individual bulbs as each one breaks, according to Golando.
Broken projector bulbs bought by the school in 2010 when the projectors were first installed will now have to be rebuilt by the school for a far heftier price than simply buying new bulbs, added Golando.
Eileen Keane, IT director at the Education center, knew nothing about the rebuilding of projector bulbs or the budgeting issues. “I’ve never heard of that,” said Keane.
After buying an additional large stock of bulbs in 2012, Golando discovered that the bulbs were discontinued in 2015 when the stock ran out. “Why keep throwing money at rebuilding the bulbs?” said Golando.“Ideally, broken bulbs won’t be a problem. But it’s not cost effective, what we’re doing.”
“If there isn’t enough money, I go to my supervisors, make some hard decisions, and shift some of the funds. But we try to make sure there is always a cushion,” added Keane, who unlike Golando believes that the IT budget is sufficient.
Golando added that although the ideal situation would be to buy new projectors, the school system does not have enough money in the IT budget to replace them all.
Golando makes his stocking decisions based on a “just in time” method, in which he juggles his supply and demand in the most effective way. This allows items to be stocked when needed and not sit on the shelves too long.
For now, if their projector bulb is broken, teachers can take classroom tech carts located in the library, said Golando. The cart includes a DVD player, projector, and document camera.