More Money Needed For Common Core…I’m Not Surprised
Almost a year ago, I testified before the Missouri Legislature that “Implementing the [Common Core State Standards] would lead to increased education expenses.” Guess what, I was correct. It was recently reported that the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has requested $30 million to cover the cost of a new Common Core-aligned achievement test. This is more than two and a half times what Missouri has spent on student assessments in the past.
In my testimony, I noted that the state could expect to incur between $67.8 million and $281 million in Common Core-related expenses. These were not my estimates; they came from proponents of Common Core at the Fordham Institute. I noted that the increased costs would come from upgrading our schools’ technological infrastructure, purchasing Common Core-aligned curriculum, and providing Common Core-specific professional development.
Proponents of Common Core disagreed with this assessment. They argued that we are already spending money on professional development and purchasing curriculum. It’s just “business as usual.” Therefore, Common Core simply shifts money that we are already spending and does not require additional spending.
As for upgrading broadband access and our technological infrastructure, well, Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro testified that “broadband should be a Civil Right.” In other words, we ought to do these things, so increased expenditures for technology shouldn’t be blamed on Common Core.
It seemed there was an excuse for almost every expenditure. Now, however, there is no excuse. The increased costs for new student achievement tests is a direct result of Missouri dumping our standards and tests in favor of the new national curriculum standards. This was a decision that DESE, the State Board of Education, and the governor made.
Make no mistake. The Common Core State Standards will cost Missourians millions of dollars. And what will we get for all this money? An unproven, untested set of standards and a loss of local control. What a bargain!