Common Core: $16 Billion Fiscal Insanity

Apple Core $16B
Math is hard—especially for educational bureaucrats and politicians. Are you sitting down?

On February 22, 2012 (yes, this came out a year ago) the National Costs of Aligning States and Localities to the Common Core Standards white paper was released by the Pioneer Institute, American Principles Project and Pacific Research Institute. From the Pioneer Institute:

“Very few of the states that adopted Common Core vetted the costs and benefits beforehand,” said Theodor Rebarber, lead contributor to the analysis, National Cost of Aligning States and Localities to the Common Core Standards. “While test-development costs will be covered by federal grants, these states are also likely to see their overall expenditures increase significantly.”

The study, which only calculates expenses directly associated with the transition, finds that states are likely to incur $10.5 billion in one-time costs….

“The nearly $16 billion [over seven years] in additional costs is nearly four times the federal government’s Race to the Top grant awards,” said Pioneer Institute Executive Director Jim Stergios. “With state and local taxpayers footing 90 percent of the bill for K-12 public education, the federal government’s push to get states to adopt national standards and tests amounts to one big unfunded mandate.”

“In coercing states to adopt the Common Core State Standards program, the US DOE and various private trade groups have denied the American people and their elected state legislators any meaningful chance to study either its academic quality or cost implications,” said Emmett McGroarty of the American Principles Project….

“The cruel irony is that in their chase for elusive federal grant dollars states have largely ignored the cost of implementing the national education standards that the US DOE and DC special interests are foisting on them,” said Lance Izumi, Koret Senior Fellow in Education Studies at the Pacific Research Institute. “Especially in deficit-plagued states like California, it was simply fiscal madness to agree to the national-standards regime and its massive future costs.”

This is my adaptation of the table on page two of the above linked white paper on national costs. I had to abbreviate some of the titles, but I still ran into the margin. That can happen, you know, because, “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money!

Overview of Projected Costs to Implement Common Core
One Time
Year 1
Year 2-7 (ongoing)
Total
Testing Costs $0 $177,234,471 $177,234,471 $1,240,641,297
Prof. Develop. $5,257,492,417 $0 $0 $5,257,492,417
Texts & Materials $2,469,098,464 $0 $0 $2,469,098,464
Technology $2,796,294,147 $326,042,312 $624,258,785 $6,867,889,169
TOTAL $10,522,885,028 $503,276,783 $801,493,256 $15,835,121,347

I have a question. Considering the bad state of the economy with so many unemployed, stores closing, businesses downsizing, and local and state governments already running in the red, just where exactly is this money going to come from?

Don’t forget, this is money for a curriculum that two members of the Common Core Validation Committee refused to sign off on. And I’m not finished yet, either,  discussing the quality of Common Core curriculum!

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Posts on Common Core are currently listed in the right side bar. They are permanently listed in the Common Core subpage that’s found under Family→Children→Education in the heading.

UPDATE: Make that five out of the twenty-five members of the Common Core Validation Committee who did not sign off on it.

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Apple Core modified from Apple Stark by Roberta F. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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4 thoughts on “Common Core: $16 Billion Fiscal Insanity

  1. At some point you just have to ask whether the real goal even IS academic improvement, or some feel-good PR and having seized the opportunity for some lucrative political patronage.

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