Editor's Note (The View From Here)

The Education Marketplace

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has a mandate to report to Congress on the condition of education by June 1 of each year. Their recently released report, The Condition of Education 2016, give us a look at the trends and developments in education using the latest available data. When looking at enrollment, public school enrollment has increased from 49.77 million (2012-2013) to 50.04 million (2013-2014). The number of students enrolled in public charter schools has increased from 2.3 million (2012-2013) to 2.5 million (2013-2014).

While the number of students continues to increase, the revenues continue to decrease. In the 2011-2012 school year, revenues for public schools totaled $622 billion – $63 billion from federal sources, $280 billion from state sources, $279 billion from local sources. In the 2012-2013 school year, total revenues declined, coming in at $618 billion.

Factors like the upcoming presidential election and the atmosphere of the political arena make it nearly impossible to predict where education funding will end up in the next few years. The only things we know for certain are:

  • our student population continues to grow;
  • access to a quality education is a fundamental right of every student;
  • and the responsibility for providing that quality education falls on us, no matter how challenging that task may be.

Until the dust settles, schools will still be charged with “doing more with less.”

Our Buyers’ Guide section of this issue is designed to help schools make the most of 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 1,700 suppliers to the education market. 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 23. 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 64. The suppliers with bold or enhanced listings support the publication of this guide through their advertising dollars. Product Showcases, starting on page 93, will give you more detailed information about the latest products and services available to you.

Make your schools better by making the most of the dollars you have!

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2016 issue of School Planning & Management.

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