The cost of the CCSS expected to be high in Pennsylvania

Posted on Thursday, 5/17/2013 5:36 PM

If educators work in a state that has adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), such as Pennsylvania, they are probably aware of the high costs associated with transitioning to curricula that are aligned with the Common Core. Whether school districts need to train teachers or purchase new textbooks and student software, they are going to need money, and a lot of it.

A big price tag
In a 2012 report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, researchers looked into how much it would cost different states to implement the CCSS according to three different methods: "Business as Usual," "Bare Bones" and "Balanced Implementation."

Business as Usual was labeled the more "traditional" approach, as it involves the purchase of new educational materials and the delivery of professional development to teachers. The Bare Bones approach relies on web-based professional development and the use of open-source instructional materials, while Balanced Implementation involves a combination of different approaches.

No matter how Pennsylvania education officials plan to transition to the CCSS, they can expect to pay a hefty price, according to data from the report. Based on the estimated cost of each approach, Pennsylvania is expected to come in fifth place in terms of how much it spends on the implementation of the Common Core. California is projected to spend the most, followed by New York, Florida and Illinois, respectively.

If Pennsylvania follows the Business as Usual approach, it could spend an estimated $5.4 million in total. Going Bare Bones could yield a total of an estimated $1.3 million, while a Balanced Implementation process may cost the state an estimated $2.2 million. No matter which approach Pennsylvania embraces, there is no denying the tremendous cost of adopting the new standards.

A good investment
Although transitioning to the CCSS will not be cheap, some would say that whatever purchases have to be made will be money well spent.

According to the CCSS' website, the standards for English language arts and mathematics were created by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to ensure that educators are teaching K-12 students what they need to learn to be successful throughout life. Although everything from new textbooks to the top software for students may raise the cost of the CCSS transition process, it is a small price to pay for more knowledgeable college students and professionals.


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