The Blog at CTA

First Half of $1.25 Billion in Common Core State Standards Funding is Headed to Schools

When Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson says the check is in the mail, he means it.

The state’s public schools are beginning to receive $622 million, the first installment of a California budget appropriation of $1.25 billion to help educators fully implement the ambitious national Common Core State Standards (CCSS). These standards are designed to help all students achieve academic excellence and acquire critical thinking and other skills required to succeed in college and their careers.

Under state law, districts can decide how best to use their allotment of the funds to train teachers, buy materials, and purchase technology.

“Allocating $1 billion to help local school districts implement the Common Core State Standards is great and welcome news for California’s students. The money is much-needed to provide training, professional development, textbooks and materials,” said CTA President Dean E. Vogel. “The transition to the Common Core State Standards will dramatically impact how teachers teach. Educators must have the support and resources they need in order for the new standards to be implemented effectively.”

Supt. Torlakson said schools should receive the second half of the funding in October. The funding amounts to $200 per pupil, and a district-by-district list of funding is available on the California Department of Education website.

“The start of a school year is always exciting, but this year is something special,” Torlakson declared in a written statement. “We’re challenging every part of our education system to remodel itself, and, step by step, give students the tools to achieve their dreams. And after years of cuts and turmoil, we’re finally able to start making the investments necessary to turn those dreams into a reality.”

CTA members have been eager to learn more about the CCSS and the effective implementation of its provisions. In August, workshops at CTA’s Summer Institute at UCLA were filled to overflowing with members wanting to become more familiar with CCSS. Educators have been hard at work transitioning to the new standards.

The superintendent also unveiled a new online tool to help school districts develop plans to implement Common Core. Developed by the California Department of Education, the CCSS Systems Implementation Guide includes suggestions and resources for local implementation organized by the seven guiding strategies in the CCSS Systems Implementation Plan for California.

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