Editor's Note (The View From Here)

The Education Marketplace

If you think budgeting for your business is difficult, try creating a budget for schools. Budgeting 101, a report by the American Association of School Administrators, lays it out like this… “while most public and private organizations and businesses have 35 to 40 percent of their budgets tied to personnel and benefits, the comparable number in public schools is, on average, more than double — between 80 and 85 percent. Further complicating districts’ ability to address budget priorities, the remaining 15 percent of their budgets is oftentimes impacted and limited by state, local and federal mandates related to everything from building codes to class-size requirements.”

With unfunded mandates, budget restrictions and the limited dollars available, creating world-class learning environments can certainly be a challenge for schools. What is even more of a challenge is living within the budget that was created. The only way to do it… make every dollar count!

Our September issue is designed to help districts get the most for their money by helping them evaluate suppliers and examine the wide range of options available to them. School Planning & Management’s Education Marketplace is the most comprehensive directory of products, services and suppliers for education. This year’s directory contains product information from more than 2,000 suppliers to the education market. To make it easier to use, products are sorted by category, then sub-category. For example, under the main category “Safety and Security,” you will find sub-categories for access control systems, alarms, surveillance cameras, etc.

The Product Index can be found on page 13. Find the product category you are interested in, and then flip to the designated page for a list of companies who provide this product. Full contact information for all suppliers in the directory can be found in the Suppliers Section that begins on page 60. The suppliers with bold or enhanced listings support the publication of this guide through their advertising dollars. Product Showcases, starting on page 97, will give you more detailed information about the products and services available to you. To round out this information resource, we have included an article on taking control of your spending, that begins on page 8.

Also, the contents of this Buyers’ Guide are available 24/7 on the Education Marketplace website at www.EducationMarketplace.com. If you don’t find what you’re looking for in these pages, new products and suppliers are added to this online, searchable Marketplace almost daily.

Options abound, and you can find them here in this issue — an issue you will use all year long!

This article originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of School Planning & Management.

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