California Adopts New State Standards and Provides Implementation Funding. California, along with 41 other states, adopted the Common Core State Standards for English and math in 2010. The 2013-14 state budget package included $1.25 billion in Proposition 98 funding for implementing the new standards. The California Department of Education (CDE) distributed this funding to school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools based on their average daily attendance (a measure of student enrollment). Legislation specified that these local education agencies could spend the funds in three areas associated with Common Core implementation: (1) information technology, (2) staff development, and (3) instructional materials. Statute required CDE to report expenditure data to the Legislature by January 1, 2016. The information below is based on that report.
Schools Spent Almost Half of Funding on Information Technology. As shown in Figure 1, schools spent 45 percent of Common Core implementation funding on information technology, 29 percent on staff development, and 26 percent on instructional materials.
Majority of Information Technology Spending for Devices and Computer Accessories. Of schools’ reported information technology spending, 69 percent was for devices (including laptops, tablets, and desktop computers) and accessories (including keyboards, assistive technology, printers, and computer carts). Schools spent 17 percent on technology infrastructure, including wiring, routers, and wireless access points. Schools spent 8 percent on technical assistance and training, primarily for administrators to learn how to administer online assessments and for teachers to learn how to integrate new technologies into their classrooms. Schools spent 6 percent on various other related purchases, including new software and operating systems.
Majority of Staff Development Spending for Math Content. Of schools’ staff development spending, 49 percent was for math training, 39 percent for English training, and the remainder split evenly among science training and English Language Development (ELD) training for teachers of English learners. Though schools spent more on math training than English training, schools reported training almost 300,000 staff in English, with 257,000 staff trained in math, 87,000 trained in ELD, and 59,000 trained in science. Teachers were by far the largest group of staff trained, with some paraprofessionals and administrators also trained.
Almost Three-Fourths of Instructional Materials Spending for Math Materials. Of schools’ instructional materials spending, 73 percent was for math materials, 23 percent for English materials, and the remaining 4 percent for ELD and science materials. Schools purchased 8.1 million math materials and 7.6 million English materials. Math materials were notably more expensive per unit than English materials.
Schools Purchased Far More Print Than Digital Material. As shown in the Figure 2, across all academic content areas, schools overwhelmingly purchased print material (87 percent) over digital material (13 percent). Math and science purchases were more likely to be digital than English and ELD purchases.