The Pioneer Institute, American Principles Project and Pacific Research Institute released a study of how much it will cost the 45 states and the District of Columbia to implement the Common Core State Standards.  President Obama offered up $4.35 billion in stimulus money through his Race to the Top program.  The start up costs nationally is estimated to be $10.5 billion with at least $16 Billion to be spent over the first seven years.

They addressed midrange estimates which only includes the basic expenditures required for the implementation of the new standards.  Things like the assessment of students, professional development of teachers, technology needed, and textbooks & other instructional materials.  These costs do not include the cost of additional expensive or controversial reforms that are sometimes recommended to help students performance such as performance-based compensation and smaller class sizes.

There is a hearing today for State Senator Mike Fair’s bill to block the implementation of the common core state standards in South Carolina (Bill S. 604).  In light of that it would be good to share the estimated numbers for South Carolina.  South Carolina has joined two different assessment consortia which makes an impact on the cost for the state.  They belong to both the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and The Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

AccountabilityWorks who was commissioned to do the study for the groups mentioned above estimated the costs for South Carolina to be over the next seven years to be:

  • Over $75 million for professional development for teachers
  • Approximately $42 million for textbooks
  • $115 million for technology.  On page 23 of the study they reference the 2007 DRC South Carolina Feasibility Report which stated in order to do adequate assessments South Carolina would need a 4 to 1 ratio of students to computers totaling 162,500 computers.  62,128 computers are still needed.
  • They didn’t break down testing costs per states, but for the groups of states that belong to SBAC and PARCC like South Carolina are collectively are looking at a $20.46 Million price tag.

So South Carolina is facing an estimated price tag of at least $232 million and that isn’t including assessments.  This is just to implement the common core.  It doesn’t include the operational costs we already pay for.

The South Carolina Legislature needs to ask themselves is it worth the cost to South Carolinian taxpayers to implement these standards which further erode South Carolina’s sovereignty over the education of its children.

You can see the entire study embedded below:

Common Core State Standards Implementation Cost

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