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The cost of common core

Posted: Thursday, Sep 12th, 2013

Wyoming has started implementing Common Core testing and standards into our state’s education program. Common Core was adopted by Wyoming previous to the standards being written and with costs still unknown. So what are the costs of implementing Common Core into our state schools?

This is a hard question to answer when Common Core standards are still in the process of being written. Wyoming so far has only signed up for the English and math phases. The Pioneer Institute and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute have estimated the costs of Common Core. Each took a little different approach to what was included, but both came up with about $15 billion nationwide for the first seven years.

For education, Wyoming now spends $18,679 per year per child, as stated on the 2011 census. Nationwide, we are ranked third in educational spending per child. The cost of common core will raise this number significantly, with estimates ranging from $6.2 million to $32 million. Testing in Wyoming now costs about $5 per student per year; with Common Core, the price will raise to about $22 per student for testing alone.

Many states are figuring out the cost of Common Core and not liking what is headed their way. Georgia has opted out of the testing, saying they can save 50 percent not using Common Core testing. Arizona taxpayers could see an increase of $7.1 to $8.6 million just for the testing portion. Tennessee estimates costs for new technology will go up $1.8 million. Oklahoma is designing its own testing to save $2 million a year. Indiana has earmarked roughly $45 million for both the testing and remediation in the next two fiscal years. Texas estimates a $3 billion increase. California suggests taxpayers’ cost will be $1.6 billion to replace existing standards. Ohio is asking taxpayers to permanently increase taxes $1.8 million per year for Common Core. And the list goes on and on for states.

In Wyoming, we pride ourselves on our independent thinking, our self-sufficiency and our ability to use common sense to overcome problems we face. Why then are we relinquishing control over our children’s education to Washington bureaucrats in return for increased costs and lower standards? When has turning something over to the federal government ever produced lower costs and an improvement in quality? When our children’s education is on the line, now is not the time to gamble on the federal government suddenly changing its ways.

For the complete article see the 09-13-2013 issue.

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