School Pandemic Survey Offers Key Insights

By SCN Staff

NEW YORK—A national education market study to share insight into priorities, timing of decision-making and challenges currently driving buying decisions in our country’s schools was recently released by Interactive Educational Systems Designs, Inc. (IESD), in partnership with MCH Strategic Data.

The report, K-12 Education and the Coronavirus Pandemic, includes input from 1,465 education leaders across the U.S., including more than 600 district administrators and more than 800 school principals.

The study combines the expert market research of the IESD team with the proven K-12 quality data collection proficiency of MCH to deliver reliable, statistically significant quantitative data to support immediate and back-to-school planning and decisions for education businesses. The survey report includes valuable recommendations based on IESD’s extensive experience in the education market.

The study, which is available for a fee, was designed to provide education businesses with reliable data and insights for developing product, marketing, and sales plans for the upcoming school year and beyond.

“Our clients are hungry to better understand what districts and schools across the country are thinking and planning,” said MCH President Amy Rambo.

“We know from our ongoing data collection efforts that schools still have a lot of decisions up in the air, but we wanted to provide deeper insight as customers work on back-to-school marketing and sales plans.”

IESD leaders Ellen Bialo and Jay Sivin-Kachala both agree.

“We have so many education market clients who are trying to figure out the key needs and challenges facing their customers, when to communicate, what to communicate, what districts and schools are likely to buy and when, and so much more,” said Bialo.

Added Sivin-Kachala, “It is difficult to plan without reliable information from the market, so we used the isolation time this spring to capture quantifiable data that should help education businesses plan.”

Key findings of the survey include the following:

  • With the vast majority of respondents (94.8%) indicating that their districts/schools switched to online teaching and learning to complete the 2019-2020 school year,respondents were asked about their 2020-2021 plans for 13 budget items. The most frequent response for each budget item was that they will spend about the same—ranging from 43.4% to 68.1%, depending on the budget item.
  • When asked how they were spending the remainder of their 2019-2020 budget due to the coronavirus pandemic, nearly half of the respondents (45.0%) said they are spending the remainder, but shifting spending to changing priorities.
  • As for their timeframe for considering purchases for 2020-2021, a majority (57.0%) reported that they have already begun the decision process or will do so by the end of June. The remainder stated they are looking to make decisions over the summer or later in the fall.

Additional survey topics also included:

  • Use of video conferencing systems
  • Use of free and fee-based supplemental programs and resources
  • Who provides professional development and support for distance learning: in-house staff and education resource providers
  • Challenges in switching to distance learning
  • What customers want most from curriculum and education resource providers
  • Instructional planning for 2020-2021

To order the K-12 Education and the Coronavirus Pandemic survey report, as well as data files with crosstabs for organizations who want to do additional analysis, visit  The cost is $199.