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From the Editor

School Safety Takes a Back Seat

School districts across the nation are making budget cuts in a previously taboo area—safety.

In an article published on August 6 in the new York Times, "Governments Go to Extremes as the Downturn Wears On," Michael Cooper offers examples of ludicrous sounding but real examples of government cuts, including extreme examples impacting K12 education. But in addition to the specific examples Cooper mentions, school districts across the nation are cutting in a previously taboo area—-safety.

Along with the elimination of the Title IV state grant components of the Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program, a recent report by the Department of Education on budget cuts to school security found that various cuts to student support programs and psychological support systems, as well as layoffs of nurses and school resource officers (SRO s), are jeopardizing the level of safety in schools. DA contributing writer Kenneth Trump, president of National School Safety and Security Services, tells readers how to ensure safety in schools in "Keeping Schools Safe During Tight Budget Times."

As school districts continue to struggle with the recession, two computing giants are helping out financially strapped districts by offering certain products for free to entire states. Why are they doing this? Google is offering its Google Apps Education Edition to K12 schools, and Microsoft is doing the same with its Live@edu not only because they care about K12 education, but in the hopes of gaining future customers. Products Editor Kurt Eisele-Dyrli worked closely with freelance writer Alan Dessoff, who reports on this win-win situation.

One of the few positive aspects of the Great Recession is that more and more districts are mandating financial literacy as part of the core curriculum for high school students. A 2009 survey from the Council for Economic Education showed that 15 states now require that a course in financial literacy be offered—a safety measure in its own right. We tell you how some districts are integrating this curriculum in "A Bull Market for Financial Literacy."

In this issue we also celebrate a few innovative education leaders: Paul Vallas, who is three years into turning around the Recovery School District of Louisiana, five years after Hurricane Katrina's devastation; Cleveland's CEO Eugene Sanders, who is having success with his district's Academic Transformation Plan; and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who had a candid conversation with Senior Editor Angela Pascopella.

Finally, check out where your compensation falls in our 10th Annual Salary Survey.

Best wishes for a safe and productive school year.

Judy Faust Hartnett, Editor in Chief