Common Core Copying Costs Skyrocket In Delaware While Smarter Balanced Consortium Makes $65 Million

Last night at the Capital School District board meeting, Business Manager Sean Sokolowski presented updates to the 2015 fiscal year budget and announced some astonishing adjustments.  In Capital School District alone, copying costs have soared as the district has been put in the position of increasing the number of copies from 200,000 to 1,000,000 based on the full Common Core implementation this year.  Teachers are required to print the Common Core curriculum sheets to students.  This is an 800,000 increase in the amount of paper just this district has to absorb in increased costs.

How many more teachers could be hired with that money to reduce classroom size?  As Capital struggles to avoid the dreaded referendum in coming years, one has to wonder if paper companies are also benefiting from Common Core.  As we advance to a more technological society with computers and iPads, why are we chopping down so many trees for this curriculum?  Capital could do so much more with these funds but they are tied down to this forced curriculum that NOBODY wants.

To put this in perspective, Capital holds about 4.8% of Delaware’s student population.  At 1,000,000 copies a year for paper in Capital, this would estimate the average number of copies for the entire state to be 20,500,000.  If all public schools in Delaware had the same increase rate, this means Common Core is costing taxpayers a ton of money with over 16,000,000 in extra copies.  Estimating paper costs at .02 cents a page, this costs public schools in Delaware $408,000 a year for total copies with $326,400 just for the Common Core curriculum.

Board President Kay Dietz-Sass advised the rest of the Board and the audience the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is making $500 per student in revenue.  That means they are making $66,684,500 from Delaware students in total based on last years student enrollment of 133,369.  Yes parents, Common Core is about getting kids ready for college so they don’t have to compete with kids in China (the excuse a few years ago).  It’s not about profit at all…

With the extra copying costs and the Smarter Balanced Assessment windfall, taxpayers are paying over $67 million in Delaware for a curriculum and test that NOBODY wants except the companies making mega bucks!  Adding all the extra costs from Common Core and Smarter Balanced, as well as all the other costs from Race To The Top, Teach For America, Relay Graduate School, Vision Network, Innovate Schools, Rodel and more, one has to wonder what we are paying for.  When schools talk about the problems they are having with class sizes, and how they need extra para-professionals and vital resources to educate students, keep these figures in mind DOE.  Education reform has a very steep price, both financially and mentally.  It is wasteful spending that impacts schools, teachers, students, parents, and taxpayers.

*This article was updated from an earlier version.  This blogger misunderstood Mr. Sokolowski’s announcement that copying went from 200,000 to 1,000,000.00.  He meant the number of copies, not the dollars spent.  Sorry for any confusion!