The “tuned in” $99 Kickstarter printer (see this great review of the Tiko) is likely to be able to print quite good quality and a $1000 printer is likely to be able to achieve very similar quality to a $5000 printer (see our review of the Cubicon Single).
This is similar to a $30 Walmart paper printer – it can probably print close to the quality of a big $20,000 office Xerox printer.
The difference is durability. A $99 3D printer is unlikely to be suitable to the rigors of the school environment.
That being said, price does not equal performance. We have seen $1500 printers perform much better and be much more reliable and durable than $5000 printers.
To read more about our experiences, read our school printer reviews.
Makers Empire: Better learning by design
Makers Empire helps K-8 teachers teach Design Thinking, STEM and 21st-century learning skills using 3D printing. Our pioneering 3D solutions for schools include 3D modelling software, over 150 lesson plans aligned with international standards and professional development. With Makers Empire, engaged students learn how to solve real-world problems and make their world better.