Anyone who’s in sales is all too familiar with the word ‘no.’ Now, more than ever merchants are hearing it from the schools. All you have to do is Google ‘school budget cuts’ and the first few pages are littered with articles written within the last few days about schools and their budget woes. This is nothing new and if it wasn’t for the stimulus funding dedicated to education, the past two years would have been just as dismal.

Last year, the National Association of State Directors of Special Education informed school districts that if they lowered their special education spending for any reason, districts didn’t have to resume spending at the previously higher level. Districts could use this lower budget as the new benchmark for spending going forward. That would have shattered special education programs across the country if they didn’t rescind the letter on April 4, 2012.

Abandoning the Status Quo

There is a new normal on the educational funding horizon, so schools need to start looking beyond the budget cuts. They need to look past what was and start planning for what will be. The status quo is not the acceptable way of doing things and is based off of the old model. Schools need to reevaluate the way they are doing things from the lunchroom to the classroom. With a proposed federal cut of 9% districts have two very simple options. Either change how things are done and reap the benefits or continue to do the same old, same old and board up the doors once the well dries up.

Adjusting to the New Normal

The good news is that it’s not all doom and gloom. With the enhancement of technology and the increased accessibility of the internet, more and more school districts are finding ways to cut costs. This is by no means a bad thing; it just means they are making more educated decisions. School districts are finding ways to do more with less money and their budgets are starting to level out. Students are more motivated to learn because instead of flash cards and worksheets, students are able to learn on things like a computer and/or an iPad.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

My grandfather had a saying that has resonated with me ever since I was young, “Work smarter, not harder.” Districts have always been held accountable for what services they are providing for special education students. That’s why The Conover Company has developed Conover Online™, as a way to increase accessibility and efficiency for special education programs everywhere. Conover Online™ is more affordable than traditional software, and it’s available anywhere there is an internet connection. It’s time to work smarter with Conover Online™ so that school districts can begin to do more with less.