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Precollegiate institutions spent $571 million on educational software in the 1992-93 school year and bought 639,000 new computers--at a cost of $958 million--in 1993-94, an industry report says.

But the report by the Software Publishers Association notes that many schools still lack the necessary telephone lines, and the telecommunications budgets, that will make them "information highway ready."

The "K-12 Educational Market Report," released last month, synthesizes information gathered from 19 organizations, including the National Education Association and the U.S. Education Department's center for education statistics.

The document is the first of its kind for the Washington-based software group.

The study highlights the strong emphasis the organization has placed in recent years on the education market as a vital component of the multibillion-dollar software industry.

Members of the software association can choose to belong to one of three sections: business, consumer, or education.

Sue Kamp, the education-section manager, said membership in the section has more than doubled in the last two years, from 311 in 1992 to 625 today.

Educational-software publishers represented by the association, she added, range from single-employee operations to the giant Microsoft Corporation.

Educational publishers also have expanded their influence in the group's policymaking body.

Six members of the 15-member board of directors now come from educational-software companies.

Recently elected to two-year terms on the board were Ronald Fortune, the president and chief executive officer of the Computer Curriculum Corporation; Kathleen Hurley, the vice president of the Skills Bank Corporation; and Dale LaFrenz, the president and chief executive officer of MECC, a Minnesota-based educational publisher.

They joined Jan Davidson, the president of Davidson & Associates; Gordon Jones, of Information Services, Novell Inc.; and John Kernan, the chairman and C.E.O. of the Lightspan Partnership.

Education professionals may obtain copies of the report for $95. The cost for all others is $250.

To order, or to obtain a free copy of the table of contents, call the Software Publishers Association at (202) 452-1600, ext. 185.

--Peter West

Vol. 14, Issue 03

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