Top Common Core: The Price Tag

Though there are many concerns as to the legality of Common Core State Standards and the effect they will have on the philosophy of education, the thing that you probably want to know most is how much this is going to affect your wallet.

Three Big Questions:

Money Given to Common Core?

Obama signed over $4.35 billion to the Race to the Top Program – “a competitive grant program designed with the hope to spur innovation in elementary and secondary schools.” This program was closely linked to development of Common Core State Standards and could be used to fund CCSS within the state allotted the grant. , the actual cost of implementation was brushed over. In the excitement over the new grant, States rushed to accept common core standards in order to qualify in the competition. Unfortunately, the cost of implementation was overlooked.

According to a study conducted by the Fordham Institute, “cumulative national estimates range from $12.1 billion to $3.01 and $5 billion.” The variation in costs come from different levels of materials required for implementation. These determined costs do not include the amount that states are already spending on education – they are the added cost of pushing Common Core forward. And note that the Fordham Institute received a grant of close to $1 million by Bill Gate’s Foundation to build support for Common Core.

How much will it cost me?

The cost incurred by each state will vary depending on the state. In smaller states, the cost will be significant but not monumental.

In Vermont: According to the Fordham study, costs will range from $16.3 – $35.8 million for “current expenditures [including] instructional materials, assessment, and professional development.”

In larger states, however, the costs will be much higher.

In Texas: According to a letter from Governor Rick Perry to Arne Duncan, secretary of education, “the cost to Texas taxpayers to implement national standards and assessments could be up to an estimated $3 billion.”

In California: According to Washington Policy Center, estimates place California’s fiscal commitment at close to $800 million.

If you’d like to find out more about how much your state will have to pay in order to implement Common Core, you can go to page 4 and 5 of Putting a Price Tag on Common Core.

Where is the money going?

The Fordham Institute conducted a 60 page comprehensive guide detailing the cost of common core both locally and federally If you, like most of us, don’t have time to comb through 60 pages, here is what you need to know about costs incurred in the world of Common Core.

Instructional Materials – As the study rolls out, there are various new advancements in technology that allow teachers variety in choosing their teaching materials. Even if states were to say no to the new, online resources and stick to hard-copy textbooks, they would still need to purchase new Common Core-approved materials. It wouldn’t be enough to stick with what they have.

Assessments –  There are two federally funded assessments that “are developing computer-administered tests that will presumably reduce the expense and time needed to provide results to teachers and students,” but they may or may not be able to adjust to different student’s abilities.

Professional Development –  Professionals will be needed to instruct teachers and school boards in proper implementation methods. According to this study, “professional development costs will be affected by choices that states make relative to instructional materials and assessments; the bigger the changes in those areas, the more likely that professional development will be needed.”

Since this is a new way of handling education, teachers will require training until they can manage it themselves. This won’t simply finish in the first year of Common Core.

Despite the weight of the financial burden placed on you and your state by common core, there is hope. Sign our petition to ask your state government to stand up to Common Core and tune in next week to see how states are already slowing and even arresting the process of Common Core.


Recommended Resource: Truth in American Education: State Costs for Adopting and Implementing the Common Core State Standards