"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Another State Legislative Hearing on the Common Core Standards

From politicalchips.org:

Time: February 14, 2013 from 1:30pm to 2:30pm
Location: State Capital
City/Town: Topeka, KS
Event Type: hearing

The legislators in various states are finally waking up to the enormous costs of the unfunded Federal mandate which leave local and state school boards with no authority over what and how our K-12 students are taught.  This hearing on the 14th is an important step forward to putting a stop to this Federal takeover of our schools in Kansas.

It should be an interesting hearing if Commissioner DeBacker still contests the auditor's estimate that it will cost the state at least $63 Million:

State auditors say schools will pay plenty to get out from under the controversial No Child Left Behind Act, but Diane Debacker isn’t buying it.

Debacker, Kansas education commissioner, said she doubted estimates from state auditors that it would cost public school districts $34 million to $63 million over the next five years to adjust to the Common Core State Standards, a new set of educational guidelines aimed at standardizing math and English education across the country.

Joe Lawhon, principal auditor for the Legislative Division of Post Audit, presented the report to lawmakers Thursday afternoon. The audit estimates school districts would probably incur the bulk of the cost —  $30 million to $50 million — replacing textbooks and other instructional materials over the next two years. Staff training could cost an additional $2 million to $10 million.
The Kansas State Department of Education, on the other hand, could save as much as $3 million annually by using the common core system. Savings would come because KSDE could skip the process of developing student assessment tests.

“Nearly all of these costs will be incurred by school districts, however, school districts will have options to avoid out-of-pocket expenditures,” Lawhon said.
An interesting question is how the school districts can avoid out-of-pocket expenditures as these costs are mandated and never voted on by taxpayers.  If the state isn't paying these costs, then it will fall on local districts already strapped for revenue.  State legislators might want to ask Mr. Lawhon how the districts can exercise these options and identify exactly what they are.

The study National Cost of Aligning States and Localities to the Common Core Standards written by Pioneer Institute and the American Principles Project sets the estimated CCSS cost to Kansas closer to $170 Million.

Why do state education commissioners in Kansas and Missouri still contend CCSS won't cost the state any additional money?  Even California states CCSS may cost that state up to $1.6 Billion.  We hope the Kansas legislators figure out the truth despite the paid reformers' CCSS talking points.

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