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Buying school textbooks in bulk is a good idea

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

Posted on March 09, 2001:

Senator Dyson Thereís a simple reason people buy items in bulk -- itís cheaper.

We buy laundry detergent, paper towels, food and all kinds of things in bulk so why not school textbooks?

A proposal to do just that recently passed the Senate and I support this idea wholeheartedly. Senate Bill 382 establishes The Maryland Educational Consortium. This would enable county school board and public and private schools in Maryland to receive a discount on the purchase of textbooks and other educational supplies if they are bought in bulk. In order to ensure that these textbooks and supplies are top quality, the State Department of Education will oversee the program and approve the textbooks and supplies bought through the consortium.

The Department of Education will adopt a series of regulations in implementing this program including distribution of catalogs and price lists to participating schools and will coordinate the purchase and distribution of textbooks and other educational supplies.

Participation in this program by county school boards and public and private schools is strictly voluntary and has no effect on curriculum. While we will not know how much money this will save our school systems until we find out how many schools sign up for the program, there is no doubt it will be a substantial savings.

This program will no doubt cut down on education spending on textbooks and school supplies, a bill that rises significantly each year and is more than 33 percent of the stateís budget and 50 percent of county budgets.

I encourage every school in my district to join this consortium and plan to send a letter to the principal of each private and public school asking them to join up.

This could be just a first step. While this applies to Maryland public and private schools, we may be able to expand the program to the stateís colleges. One of the biggest costs for parents paying for their childrenís education is the extremely high prices for textbooks. If Maryland colleges adopt a similar proposal, the cost of a higher education will be lowered.

The Maryland Educational Buying Consortium is good government in action. Ití s a pure common sense idea that will save both our public and private schools money and there is little bureaucracy involved in the process. Itís one of those few bills Republicans and Democrats can all agree on. As a matter of fact, the entire Senate passed this bill unanimously.

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

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