Total expenditures for public schools in the United States amounted to $688 billion in 2014-2015 — that's about $13,100 per public school student — according to the latest figures from the National Center for Education Statistics. While this figure might sound like a lot, the truth of the matter is, schools encounter immense difficulty meeting all of their needs with these figures. And rightfully so.
These budgets include everything. Staff salaries, employee benefits, school supplies, technology upgrades, and purchased services all have to come from the budget. With so many competing demands, how do you prioritize? How do you choose what’s most important when everything seems essential? The end product of schools balancing finances directly impacts students — and you can't put a price on that.
Does Money Matter in School?
Of course it does. Schooling resources cost money, and you’d be hard-pressed to find an administration that wants to cut funds. Your faculty and staff need access to resources to drive your students to success. That being said, minding budgets always needs to be a focus, otherwise, things can get out of control. And there’s no shortage of parents, community members, and colleagues who have their own ideas on the right way for schools should spend funds.
Still, there are various ways to save money. While it might not work for everybody, one study found schools can reduce their administrative costs by 20 percent by making a few simple changes.
But one way we have seen a lot of schools save money is by avoiding expensive security technology — especially when it doesn’t do much to protect students and staff.
Avoid Expensive Security Technology
Getting security systems that actually protect students is at the top of a lot of lists. Caring about student safety is easy — there's no question about that. But knowing the best options for keeping them safe? That can be a little more difficult.
When someone tells you about a complicated and "advanced" security system, it can be easy to fall in love it. But the truth is, complicated doesn't necessarily mean better, especially when it comes to the safety of your students. In fact, some schools that invest heavily in technology never actually get the opportunity to use it.
"School administrators said they want to be smart about what they buy, but they are also guided by parents’ desire for added security — even if those systems are never used," says NBC News.
While security is essential for every school, there are less expensive alternatives to panic buttons and complex student monitoring software.
Take Badge Messenger®, for example. It's a new messaging and alert system that teachers and admins can use to communicate in an emergency. It's simple, and it's cost effective. Teachers wear the two-way messaging system on the back of their I.D. badges and relay important life-saving information in a natural disaster or emergency situation with customized buttons.
Badger Messenger directly reflects that level of prioritizing by communicating on an easy-to-use platform — and it pays for itself in no time.
Click here to find out more about Badge Messenger.