Why the City of New York might end up in a fiscal conundrum if textbooks are replaced with tablets?

by Optimization with an Impact (OpIm)

My biggest concern when considering adapting the tablet in the NYC public school system is the initial investment that the city will have to incur to make this idea a viable one (between $311.5 to $519.9 million), and that is without taking into consideration the price of the e-book, which the suppliers have set at $14.99/e-book/year. The sole requirement of purchasing e-books every year for the foreseeable future represents a financial challenge for the NYCDOE. At the present time, they purchase textbooks for about $75/book and use them for an average of 5 years. Although the instructional impact of the tablet remains uncertain, the fiscal conundrum is substantial given the fiscal reality of the city. We’ll be doing a great service to our constituents by analyzing the fiscal ramifications of this decision before undertaking it.