Schools scrimp on software investment

TFor a couple of years, schools have invested heavily in their infrastructure and hardware to infuse technology into the curricula, but software purchasing has been -- and still is -- low, according to a report this year by the Software&Information Industry Association (SIIA).

Nearly 40 percent of the nation's elementary, middle and high schools spend less than $5 per student on software -- a figure which proves that technology has yet to permeate all subjects and lesson plans, said Sue Kamp, SIIA's director for the education market division.

"It's just peanuts," Kamp said. "And it shows that if schools only have that amount to spend, they are not spending it on the entire curriculum but on targeted areas." SIIA research did not turn up a single subject as the most popular for software sales but instead clustered buying in reading, science and arts. "One of those is ahead, but not consistently."

SIIA also noted in its "1999 Education Market Report: K-12" an upward trend in schools' purchase of administrative software. "One future trend we are predicting is an effort to make sure administrative and instructional systems are integrated," Kamp said.

Denver-based Quality Education Data (survey.qeddata.com) prepared statistics used in the SIIA report. Visit SIIA at www.siia.net.

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