Most public contracts go to the bidder that greases the most palms. In this case someone managed to sell boat load of equipment.
I don’t know about your area but I worked on a musical in a brand new school in Houston, TX.
Their theater had a 96 input board, 8 power amps at 1500 watts each, and ridiculous amount of outboard gear, multitrack digital recording gear attached to board.
The theater didn’t have a sound man, they had to pull request from the school district to loan them one guy that basically did all this and he might or might not show up, depending on schedule.
While the public contractor (local audio firm) sold them this, the requirement was for 4-6 tracks of wireless body mics to be worn by actors so audience can hear performances, and the occasional soundtrack for the actors to sing to. So, in essence, the whole thing could’ve been done by one 24 track mixer, and probably not really that expensive at that.
The orchestra room had a rolling rack with a top of the line 24 input digital mixer with bunch of outboard attached to it, including CD player, and a CD/HD recorder. The orchestra teacher found it so complex and her technical abilities were super limited. She couldn’t use it and brought a home jukebox to play the music and little Olympus sound recorder to record practices.
The sound contractor made a killing in both cases. I actually managed to look at the #s as I was curious and all the gear was sold at 3x markup from the price of the local music store.