Sure, the DOE will claim that transportation costs, vandalism, and the many bottled water machines needed for the schools throughout the City accounts for the cost difference. However, does this account for the dollar difference? I don't think so. To me its all about greed and maybe the DOE's slogan should change from "children first" to "greed is good" when it comes to forcing the students to fork over their money for bottled water at a markup of 400% over what Costco charges its own brand.
Since the Bloomberg years the DOE has award many contracts to consultants that cost the school system millions of dollars over the actual cost of services and the contract with the bottled water vender is just another example of the DOE wasting precious money on questionable contracts at the expense of the students of the school system. It's "children last" always when it comes to DOE awarding contracts.