Education funding blueprint plan

Opportunities do exist but knowing how to take advantage of additional funding is the trick


School security should always be the top concern for school administrators, according to Fiel, and one of the ways that ADT attacks the challenge of schools lacking security or a security plan is through their emergency plan crisis tool: a free risk assessment that identifies a school's strengths and weaknesses to reduce their problems.

"There are solutions out there to fit a school's budget," continued Fiel. "One size fits all is not the case and sometimes it doesn't just take the technology but understanding and preparedness of policies and procedures."

For some systems integrators, taking the role of suggesting funding to a client may become a little tricky.

"I think a lot of systems integrators think about providing extra resources or funding for schools but some of the challenges that we face is if you help a school write a grant, many times you're prohibited under the law from participating in a project if they are awarded grant funds so you need to be careful on what type of assistance you can provide to an educational institution," explained Giannini. "For us, we stay on top of what grants are out there in the marketplace, where the grant sources are located and the types of grants that are available and speak with potential customers about that information but than it's up to that educational institution to get that money."

In other cases, there is sometimes nothing that the integrator can do to help funding for a school unless the integrator is invited to do so.

"That's kind of a closed group, "explained Marty Graves, president of SAS Security Alarm Service, Plano, Texas. "I get calls where they will consult with me off the record but if you're a new kid on the block, you probably won't be much of an audience. But the educational community still has funds. They can't turn their back on life safety systems so the districts have to fund those programs; they have to have those systems inspected; they have to keep them maintained and it is a bidding process that forces the districts to put this stuff back out for bid in a timely manner-so there is your opportunity."