Random acts of violence at the nation's schools and universities may grab the headlines, but the top security concerns among education professionals are often centered on more mundane (and manageable) threats such as vandalism or students fighting.

When school violence hits the news, it can tend to raise security awareness among schools and colleges, and in some cases such an event can drive education institutions to re-evaluate and review their security efforts. But more likely, a school's security plan has already been updated in the last year either because of a scheduled or routine review or because of industry standards or benchmarking.

Concerns from parents, teachers and students can also drive security planning efforts, as can requests from the school board or another school official.

Security continues to be top-of-mind, and education professionals have noticed that security incidents are more frequent, some say more severe. Education institutions are spending more money than ever on security concerns, and the increases will continue, with part of that money being spent on a laundry list of technologies to keep schools safe.

These are among the insights to be gleaned from the Exclusive 2008 School Security Survey conducted by American School & University magazine and Access Control & Security Systems magazine. The e-mail survey of school and security professionals sought to quantify important trends in the school security arena, and the results illuminate changes in how professionals can protect educational facilities …. and at what cost.

Check out our survey results on this and the following page. A total of 151 subscribers to the two magazines from K-12 schools and 97 subscribers from colleges/universities responded to our survey.

TOP OVERALL CONCERNS FOR SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES
SCHOOLS (K-12) COLLEGES/UNIVERSITIES
Budget issues 83% Budget issues 79%
Test results 83% Finding good students 77%
Technology incorporation 76% Technology incorporation 64%
Finding/retaining teachers 70% Finding/retaining professors 62%
Security 65% Security 62%
School infrastructure 63% School infrastructure 48%
School overcrowding 31% Test results 39%
    School overcrowding 18%

Although important, security ranks below other concerns at both K-12 schools and colleges/universities.