Why You Need to Act Now
School district spending has predictable cycles. The budget year for most districts is July 1 to June 30 each year. This means that during the spring months, districts are entering the final stages of their budget development process for the upcoming school year and looking to spend remaining funds from the current school year. More than three-fourths of districts have reported that they are not allowed to carry unspent funds over into the next school yea. It really is a case of “use it or lose it.”
It’s possible that this year districts have kept more funds back than usual, as there was a lot of uncertainty around what a new administration would bring to federal education policies and the concern about the timeline for ESSA implementation. But the Trump administration is eager to put responsibility for public education firmly into the hands of the states and so has not altered the ESSA timeline.
Spring Marketing Opportunity
Knowing that spring is a time when schools and districts are evaluating programs for end-of-the-year spending, what is the best way for education marketers to get the attention of decision makers? 78% of principals told us this year that they prefer to learn about new products via email. We also know that when making spring spending decisions, decision makers want to have product and service information sooner rather than later. So there is a sense of urgency about getting product information in front of potential buyers right now.
In addition to principals, here are the other key decision makers who are deciding how to spend remaining funds from the 2016-2017 school year.
Most schools and districts will spend their remaining money prior to June 30th. We’ve seen in past years that some districts have more than $25,000 left to spend, so this can add up to significant sales at the end of the year. We know from past surveys that even at the end of the year, schools and districts are purchasing everything from professional development to technology, core curriculum, supplies, books, and digital materials.
If you need help planning a campaign to take advantage of these end-of-the-year funds, the MCH team is standing by to provide the most recent counts by job title and district.