Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Bryan ISD Improves Textbook Management Productivity, Cuts Losses with Inventory Program. (Applications)

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Bryan ISD Improves Textbook Management Productivity, Cuts Losses with Inventory Program. (Applications)

Article excerpt

In this era of education reform, the three A's (Accountability, Accuracy and Accessibility) are becoming just as crucial as the three R's to the success of our education system. As a result, the pressure is on to find technologies and methods that deliver efficient and immediate results. Sounds great, but where does the money come from? In this time of budgetary constraints, it is imperative that schools and districts watch their spending and cut costs wherever possible. One area that has proven to be a major expense involves school textbook inventory. With the cost of textbooks on the rise, schools need a way to control their inventory losses. And technology has arrived with an answer.

Reducing Liability

The following is the story of how the 19 campuses of the Bryan Independent School District in Texas took control of one of their most costly reoccurring expenditures--textbook replacements--allowing the district to restructure its instructional materials budget. In 1991, Cathy Conger, the district's library supervisor and textbook coordinator, acquired Hayes Software Systems' Textbook Inventory Program (TIP) for use at the district level. She was concerned about improving the overall productivity of the district's textbook management. Her efforts to educate campus administrators regarding the need for textbook management automation were unsuccessful, at least at the secondary school level where losses were the highest. Campuses were still too reluctant to spend the money.

It wasn't until the end of the 1995 school year when Bryan ISD experienced an audit from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for their textbook inventory that the situation changed dramatically. The district was held accountable for repaying the state $42,000 to replace missing textbooks for that year. This is because in Texas, the state retains ownership of all textbooks supplied free of charge to the schools.

The district administration's first step was to let the campuses know that the district would no longer be responsible for their losses. …

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