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Tech Talk Live Blog

K-12 Academic FTE-Based Licensing Benefits

Karen Oberly


Each year more software companies are providing FTE-based licensing options to K-12 schools. This licensing option provides a means for schools to save money, simplify administration, and eliminate compliance worries while providing software for use across the entire school district.

FTE stands for Full Time Equivalent and is based upon a formula to determine the number of employees in your district. This FTE count shifts the need to purchase licensing based upon the device count in your district to a simple calculation of employees done on an annual basis. In most cases, the employee count is significantly lower than the device count thus offering schools a substantial cost savings.

While many schools initially choose the FTE-based licensing options as a means to save money they are discovering equally important benefits that have made a significant difference across their district including:

  • Equitable distribution of software – all staff and students now access the software on any school-owned device, including devices assigned to students in 1:1 programs.
  • Software version equity – instead of having to stagger the purchase of licenses and ending up with many different versions of a given software package throughout your district, all district-owned devices can be loaded with the same version.
  • Accurate budgeting – many of these agreements are multi-year agreement with annual pricing determined up front. No more guessing how many licenses you will need or what the cost will be.
  • Simple administration – you can create your device image knowing you are properly licensed across your district and have no compliance issues for the covered licensing. Many of the companies provide you with an enterprise level dashboard to find your downloads, key numbers, licensing summary, etc., all leading to simplified asset management.
  • Easier staff development – with everyone using the same version of a software program, training is simple and straightforward. It also provides more opportunities for teachers to help one another and build knowledgeable staff as resources in every building of your district.

The IU 13 Statewide Software Discount Program provides Pennsylvania schools with cost-effective FTE-based licensing options from Microsoft, Adobe, and Symantec. The satisfaction feedback from schools participating in these programs has been overwhelmingly positive with many schools choosing to participate in all three offerings.  Contact softwaresales@iu13.org for more details.

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