Editor's Note (The View From Here)

The Education Marketplace

We are living in a time where everyone is being asked to “do more with less” — less staff, less money, less time. The initial intention was for organizations to look for ways to become more effective, uncover hidden talents and make the best use of the resources they had. This was a much-needed activity, and it had some positive results. However, the long-term effect of “doing more with less” has been less than rewarding. Many schools, colleges and businesses have reached (or gone beyond) the point where reductions are negatively affecting the services they provide, the facilities they maintain, and the students they are educating. Many have been forced into a mode of reactive decision making instead of proactive thinking. Employees are burning out, buildings are falling down, equipment is failing — and we are failing our students. It is time for a change!

There is light at the end of the tunnel. This year, the release of the President’s FY2016 budget proposal was coupled with an energized Congressional effort to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (aka No Child Left Behind). The budget provides $70.7 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Education in 2016, an increase of $3.6 billion, or 5.4 percent, over the 2015 level. The budget also proposes $145 billion in new mandatory spending and reforms over the next decade to fund early learning, support teachers, and reform postsecondary education. Additionally, as the general economy continues to improve, so will the picture for education. In the meantime… every dollar counts.

Our July Buyers’ Guide issue is designed to help institutions get the most for their money by helping them evaluate suppliers and examine the wide range of options available to them. This year’s directory contains product information from more than 1,800 suppliers to the education market. Products are sorted by category, then subcategory. For example, under the main category “Safety and Security,” you will find subcategories 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 50. The suppliers with bold or enhanced listings support the publication of this guide through their advertising dollars. Product Showcases, starting on page 85, 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.

Our goal… make schools better by helping you make the most of your dollars!

This article originally appeared in the July 2015 issue of School Planning & Management.

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