School Districts – Not The State – Will Pay For Common Core Implementation


A new study shows that although the new Common Core standards cost the state nothing to implement, individual districts are footing the bill.

The standards are more rigorous than previous ones and require teachers to help students develop their math and English skills. In response to lawmakers’ requests, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau crunched the numbers to see what the new standards were costing the state.

While the changes aren’t costing Wisconsin much to implement, the report estimates that school districts are spending about $25 million more to implement the standards.

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State Rep. Mandy Wright (D-Wausau) says it’s worth the investment. “I do think that’s a significant amount of funding, and nothing to be born lightly. However, we do need to move forward.”

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) says the state hasn’t allocated a cent to the program, though the new report says upcoming tests will cost some money during the next school year.

Karen Schroeder, president of Advocates for Academic Freedom, a conservative group that opposes Common Core, says the standards are unproven and a waste of taxpayer dollars.

“The expense is not the issue, because school districts are going to have to spend some money to implement any set of standards,” says Schroeder. “The issue with Common Core is the fact that it usurped local control of schools, it undermined state autonomy, and the standards are not rigorous.”

The Joint Legislative Council has yet to announce if it will do a separate study of Common Core, as legislators requested. The DPI plans to hold public hearings on the standards this fall.

Check out the full story by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism tomorrow on its website.