Articles Tagged with budgets

Foot on nailsLast December I penned (keyed?) a relatively optimistic piece about education spending, with the conclusion that the textbook adoption market was in a crash but supplemental materials were in a short-term stall. I had it right on the first point and wrong on the second – we have seen a full blown market crash across the board this year. There are still sound reasons for long term optimism, but the near term remains grim.

After the election I decided to read Nate Silver’s book “The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail – But Some Don’t”. I was hoping to find insights on why I’d gotten it wrong, and so far I’ve not been disappointed.

Early on he outlines the distinction between risk and uncertainty in a way that is highly relevant to how we understand where we are in education publishing.

1071542_8_ball_3The global economic meltdown is going to affect education budgets. States and School Districts will react to a drop in tax receipts and a credit freeze. This entry is an attempt to map out some of the possibilities for how the slowdown will play out in schools.

First – some good news. No matter what happens in the economy kids still show up in school needing an education. The market is not recession proof but it is also a core service of civilization. Unless we end up in some Mad Max dystopia there will be a market.

Second – any market will have losers and winners. There are several market trends that will be accelerated by a budget crunch and companies that are poised to take advantage of them will do just fine. If your strategy isn’t focused clearly on core funded needs you will struggle (strategic focus is a service I provide).