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Is the Future of the Traditional Textbook Business at Risk?

August 13, 2017

We would like to share the following article by Cary Sherburne
Published: August 10, 2017 in WhatTheyThink

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Martin James, Manager of Graphic Communications at the Deer Valley Unified School District in Arizona. The District’s Graphic Communications Department was recognized by IPMA for its innovative approach to the creation of course materials for its K-8 students, a well-deserved recognition.

Deer Valley Unified School District is comprised of 38 campuses, including five high schools, with 33,000 students and 4,000 employees, and one of the largest land demographics in the state. The K-12 district is spread out over 367 square miles serving six cities as well as unincorporated areas of Maricopa County, Arizona, the largest district in the State in terms of land within its boundaries. Its centralized Graphic Communications Department produces K-8 curriculum and brings in business from 15 outside school districts as well as several non-profits.

James reports that the State of Arizona is 48th in the country in educational spending per student (the average spend per student for education in the U.S. is $13,000. Arizona spends $8,000). Deer Valley Unified School District was seeking a way to make its limited textbook dollars go further to ensure the best possible quality of education for its students while also ensuring teachers spent less time on administrative functions. The solution? Royalty-free course materials that the Department could print on demand.

This approach offered several advantages:

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