With school budgets stretched to their limits, educators are seeking every means to control costs without compromising the quality of education. Because textbook management is one of the areas in which expenses have soared, school leaders are looking at ways to control costs by minimizing losses from damaged or missing textbooks.

At the 1,500-student Bolsa Grande High School in Orange County, Calif., a bar-coding system for books and for student IDs was combined with software designed to ensure accountability by students for the books they received. The result? A substantial savings in textbook costs,

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