If you read this blog with any regularity you know that I'm a big proponent of open source software. For almost every piece of proprietary software on the market there is an open source alternative that will accomplish the same tasks for free. Many open source software applications are available for Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems. Cross platform usability is important for schools that use more than operating systems on their student computers.
Open Source Living is a great resource for locating open source alternatives to proprietary software. Open Source Living is categorized by software function (Documents, Audio, Business Management, etc) and each program has a review section in which readers can submit their reviews and vote on the quality of each program.
If you're looking for an open source alternative to your expensive proprietary software, check out Open Source Living, you might be surprised by how many open source programs exist.