National Cost of Aligning States to Common Core

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• All but five (5) states have committed to adopting the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English language arts and mathematics and are participating in one of the federally-sponsored consortia developing aligned assessments (see Figure 1). Few of the participants, however, have carefully analyzed the costs involved.

• Significant new costs are projected in three key areas of standards-based reform: assessment, professional development, and textbooks and instructional materials. In addition, states and local communities are expected to face substantial new expenditures for technology infrastructure and support.

• Over a typical standards time horizon of seven (7) years, we project Common Core implementation costs will total approximately $15.8 billion across participating states. This constitutes a “mid-range” estimate that only addresses the basic expenditures required for implementation of the new standards. It does not include the cost of additional expensive or controversial reforms that are sometimes recommended to help students meet high standards, such as performance-based compensation or reduced class sizes.

• Total, seven-year costs include the following additional expenses: $1.2 billion for the new assessments, $5.3 billion for professional development, $2.5 billion for textbooks and instructional materials, and $6.9 billion for technology infrastructure and support (see Figure 2A).

• $10.5 billion of the projected amount is for “one-time” costs that include familiarizing educators with the new standards, obtaining aligned textbooks and instructional materials, and sufficiently enhancing technology infrastructure to implement the Common Core online assessments for all students. (See Figure 2B)

• First year operational costs are projected to be approximately $503 million higher, including increased assessment expense for some states as well as technology training and support.

National Cost of Aligning States to Common Core .pdf file