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From the Editor

Buying Security

School security is a huge market, where staying informed is critical.


District Administration is the only magazine that reaches top-level administrators in every K12 school district in the United States, including superintendents, business officers, curriculum directors, technology managers and school board presidents. And through each issue and our integrated Web site, we commit to bringing our readers up-to-date and usable information in six core content areas: administration and supervision, facilities and construction, standards and assessment, curriculum, technology, and school security. For example, in this month's issue we look at the growing interest in the International Baccalaureate as an alternative to Advanced Placement, the external pressures that confront every school superintendent, and part four of our five-part research series on district buying power, which focuses on "Purchasing Security Products and Services."

"Almost every district in the country has a crisis management plan"

Although the buying study was commissioned prior to the tragic security breaches at Virginia Tech and elsewhere, it found that K12 districts spent an amazing $1.17 billion on security products and services last year, and the average district spent $163,600. Purchases included physical surveillance equipment and services such as cameras and recorders, devices to control building access such as keypads and card identification programs, and computer network and data security systems. It also found that almost every district in the county has a crisis management plan in place-97 percent-and the few that didn't were planning to institute plans in the near future.

Informed Purchasing

Now more than ever, school security has become a huge and emotion-filled market with countless options, where accurate information is essential for making wise purchases. And it is easy to make wrong decisions. We therefore work to keep our readers up-to-date in a variety of ways through product reviews, news updates, profiles of successful programs, columns and articles such as "Brave New World of School Security" in December 2007, "Threat Assessment Plans" in January 2008, and "Security Update" in this issue. In fact, a search on "school security" on our Web site displays more than 100 articles from back issues. Similarly, clicking in the School Security core content area of our site brings you to recommended resources, and you can distribute the articles in your district and add the links to your site. You and your staff can also view the important "New Paths to School Safety & Security" leadership Web seminar through the DA site at any time for free, and search our online products database for new developments. There's every reason to be well informed on school security through DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION.


Odvard Egil Dyrli EDITOR-IN-CHIEF