There are many ways to fund the transition to the CCSS

Posted on Wednesday, 4/24/2013 5:10 pm

The farther along school districts get with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the more some educators are realizing they require additional funds to successfully update their curricula. 

Whether school systems need money to purchase new computers or the student software they will run on the hardware, it is no secret the transition to the CCSS will be expensive. Fortunately, there are ways for school districts to secure funding they can put toward the standards.

The cost of the Common Core
A 2012 study from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute provides a sense of how much it will cost states to implement the CCSS. For example, if schools in California take a "traditional" approach to the transition process, such as purchasing updated textbooks and providing professional development to teachers in person, it could cost the Golden State about $1.6 billion. New York may be looking at a total implementation cost of $830 million, while Florida could spend $780 million.

Of course, there is no way for states to know exactly how much their CCSS expenses will add up to until the implementation process has come to a close. What is important for states and school districts to know is that receiving help with the transition process is not impossible.

GE Foundation shows its support for the CCSS
To date, the GE Foundation, GE's philanthropic arm, has been one of the Common Core's biggest supporters.

The Erie School District in Pennsylvania understands the GE Foundation's commitment to ensuring educators are ready to deliver instruction that is aligned with the CCSS. As part of its Developing Futures in Education initiative, the GE Foundation provided the Erie School District with a $15 million grant in 2007. Then, in 2012, the school system received an additional $8.6 million in funding, according to a press release.

"An international focus is key to our business growth in Erie," said Lorenzo Simonelli, GE Transportation's president and chief executive officer. "Keeping our education standards high, and ensuring students can compete with the best students around the world, is one of the best community investments we can make. I look forward to Erie teachers and administrators leading education in the region and all of Pennsylvania as others seek to meet these standards as well."

In February of this year, the GE Foundation continued to support the shift to the CCSS by awarding the National PTA with a one-year grant worth $240,000, according to a separate press release. Using this money, the National PTA can develop state-specific CCSS assessment guides.

A competitive twist on CCSS funding
In Connecticut, the Norwalk Education Foundation is taking matters into its own hands and holding a community spelling bee to raise money for the transition to the CCSS, The Hour reported.

The April event pits more than 20 teams against each other for a fun evening that will help local students get the educational materials they need. In the Norwalk community, many individuals have been disheartened by budget cuts at area schools. Fortunately, the spelling bee is sure to make a difference.

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