It costs a lot of money to run a school district.

The $1.29 million in new purchase orders passed at the Santa Monica-Malibu Board of Education’s meeting last week, as listed in the consent calendar, offers a glimpse into district priorities and projects.

And with the 2015-16 school year under way, the Daily Press takes a look at some of the biggest expenditures in the recently approved agenda.

Not surprisingly, several hundred thousand dollars were allocated for educational materials. A combined sum of more than $180,000 was designated to McGraw-Hill and Pearson Education for math textbooks.

The district also planned to pay AVID Center close to $13,000 for teacher resources and $12,674 to Houghton Mifflin for psychology resources.

With SMMUSD aiming to expand its arts and enrichment offerings, the district has allocated a combined $46,000 to Santa Monica Music Center and Universal Violin Inc. for music supplies and instrument repairs.

The consent calendar also reflects the school district’s ongoing attempts to improve parent engagement and community relations.

More than $45,000 was allocated to Blackboard Connect, a communications system, for operating expenses.

Another $46,000 was designated to K12 Insight, which is in charge of administering and analyzing results from a district survey on parent engagement that is available online until Sept. 11.

Sociologist and educator Pedro Noguera, who was recently hired by the district as a consultant, has said that parent engagement is crucial to closing the achievement gap that persists between African-American and Latino students and their peers.

The consent calendar included numerous items related to maintenance and infrastructure, an ongoing theme in SMMUSD as bond measures continue funding facility and safety upgrades.

Among the recently allocated payments is $50,000 to Santa Monica-based Ishler Design & Engineering for the repair of roof trusses at John Adams Middle School. Also receiving board approval were $47,014 to Santa Monica Ford to replace a grounds maintenance vehicle, $25,000 to South Bay Landscaping for tree trimming, $16,000 to Arroyo Grande, Calif.-based Ahsirt Engineering for groundwater sampling and $13,000 to ThyssenKrupp Elevator for maintenance.

Running a district also requires a variety of supplies and operational expenses.

SMMUSD allocated a combined $70,000 to three different vendors for custodial supplies and another $10,000 to W.W. Grainger for industrial supplies. The expenditures arrived for board approval following a recent district decision to centralize the purchasing of custodial supplies instead of leaving those duties up to school sites.

The consent calendar also allocates more than $52,000 to Santander Bank for school bus leases, more than $11,000 to Fountain Valley-based Coastal Enterprises for physical education clothing and $10,000 for U.S. Postal Service postage.

The district also has to take out the trash (or pay a company to do it). More than $81,000 was set aside for Waste Management for waste removal, nearly $80,000 was allocated to Recology Los Angeles for trash services and more than $16,000 was designated to WASTEC for septic pumping and pool maintenance at Malibu schools.

Contact Jeff Goodman at 310-573-8351, jeff@www.smdp.com or on Twitter.

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