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State Costs for Adopting and Implementing the Common Core State Standards

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National Education Standards and Tests: Big Expense, Little Value

Lindsey Burke February 18, 2011 The Heritage Foundation

Spending on Standards and Assessment Systems: Selected States

The budgetary impact of jettisoning state accountability structures and replacing existing standards and testing could be significant—likely much more than RTTT funding provides.
Over the past decade, taxpayers have spent considerable sums to develop existing state accountability systems:

California. California’s Standardized Testing and Reporting Program, which began in 1998, tests students in grades 2–11 in English, math, science, social science, and history. Estimates suggest that it would cost California taxpayers $1.6 billion to replace the existing state standards with the Common Core standards.[4] Yet California has agreed to overhaul its existing system with the new national standards and assessments.

Florida. The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test measures student achievement in grades 3–11 in reading, math, and science. Since 1996, Florida has spent more than $404 million to develop and maintain the system.[5] Taxpayer investment in the existing high-quality assessments has been substantial, and overhauling the system for unproven national assessments, which Florida has agreed to adopt, could produce significant new implementation costs to taxpayers.

Texas. Texas has resisted the push for national standards. The Lone Star State estimates that the adoption of new standards and tests would cost taxpayers upwards of $3 billion. “Adopting national standards and tests would also require the purchase of new textbooks, assessments, and professional development tools, costing Texas taxpayers an estimated $3 billion, on top of the billions of dollars Texas has already invested in developing our strong standards,” stated Governor Rick Perry (R) in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in opposition to national standards and tests.[6]

Virginia. The Virginia Board of Education unanimously rejected adoption of the proposed Common Core State Standards and tests. One of the board’s chief arguments against adopting national standards was fiscal, with members noting that “Virginia’s investment in the Standards of Learning [SOL] since 1995 far exceeds the $250 million Virginia potentially could have received by abandoning the SOL and competing in phase two of Race to the Top.”[7] Indeed, since 1996, Virginia taxpayers have paid more than $379 million to develop and implement the state SOLs. The costs for developing the SOLs include expenditures for the initial development and subsequent revisions of the curriculum frameworks and assessments, as well as the development of new supporting materials and professional development related to using the new testing system.


California and the Common Core: Will There Be a New Debate About K–12 Standards?
June 2010 EdSource

Based on the state’s past experience, new curriculum frameworks and instructional materials could cost about $800 million for English and math combined. In addition, training teachers in both subjects could cost as much as $765 million, based on an assumption of $2,500 per teacher per subject and counting teachers both in self-contained classrooms and those that teach single subjects. An additional $20 million would be needed for training principals to help them in their work as instructional leaders (based on the amount that the state and the Gates Foundation appropriated in 2001–02 for initial training of administrators). Finally, developing tests based on new standards would add a relatively small amount to the total cost, with the exact sum depending on how quickly the new test questions were phased in and whether the state would retain the existing tests’ format, which currently contains almost entirely multiple-choice questions. Participation in an assessment consortium could also affect this cost. Thus, an estimate of the total cost of a more comprehensive retooling is about $1.6 billion over a few years.

Washington State

Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics: Analysis and Recommendations Report to the Legislature January 2011

Estimated Costs for CCSS Implementation
Estimated State Level Costs Per Fiscal Year Five Year Total
2010-11 (FY 11)* $2,500,000
2011-12 (FY 12)* $3,400,000
2012-13 (FY 13)* $3,600,000
2013-14 (FY 14)* $3,800,000
2014-15 (FY 15)* $3,800,000
Total Five Year Estimated State Level Costs $17,100,000
Estimated District Level Costs
2010-11 (FY 11)* $25,300,000
2011-12 (FY 12)* $29,600,000
2012-13 (FY 13)* $35,100,000
2013-14 (FY 14)* $41,800,000
2014-15 (FY 15)* $33,700,000
Total Five Year Estimated District Level Costs $165,500,000
Total Five Year Estimated State Level and District Level Costs $182,600,000
*Yearly cost estimates are from the OSPI report. See Pages 24 and 29.
Funding Sources for CCSS Implementation
Funding Sources for the Implementation of the CCSS Annual Five Year Total
State Level Sources
State Assessment Budget* $150,000 $750,000
State Funding for Regional Mathematics Coordinators* $1,600,000 $8,000,000
Title II, Part A, Teacher and Principal Quality (federal)* $510,000 $2,550,000
Title II, Part B, Math Science Partnership Grant Funds (federal)* $125,000 $625,000
School Improvement Grant Funds (federal)* no amount provided
SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortia (SBAC) Supplemental Grant $250,000–$300,000 over four years* $300,000
Five Year Total of State Level Fund Sources $12,225,000
Estimated Five Year State Level Costs Total $17,100,000
Est. State Level Costs Minus State Level Fund Sources $4,875,000
District Level Sources*
Basic Education Funding (state) #
Title I (federal) and Learning Assistance Program (LAP, state) &
Title II, Part A, Teacher and Principal Quality (federal) %
School Improvement Grant Funds (SIG, federal) &
Title II, Part B, Math Science Partnership Grant Funds (federal) @
Unable to determine amounts indeterminate
The district level funding sources have been identified and listed above. Given the information in the report it is not possible to determine the amount of funds from any given source that would be allocated to support the implementation of the CCSS. Districts may have commitments for funds, or portions of funds, from any given source that would preclude them from being available to support the implementation of the CCSS.
Estimated Five Year District Level Costs Total $165,500,000
* Fund source information is from the OSPI report. State level sources pages 25-26. District level sources pages 30-32.
# Figures presented were not consistent and could not be used to determine any annual or five year total amount of funds available
& An unspecified portion of an undisclosed amount may be used by qualifying districts
% An unspecified portion of an undisclosed amount may be used according to individual district’s comprehensive plan
@ WA receives $2.5 million annually of which $2 million may support implementation efforts

Tables from Where’s the Money? pdf developed by The Underground Parent.


Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education
Frequently Asked Questions Common Core State Standards

As stated earlier, the Department has not requested additional or new funding for the implementation or professional development associated with revised standards and assessments.


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