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California Schools Spent Big on IT to Support Common Core Standards

California schools spent about $578 million two years ago on information technology through Prop 98 funding to implement the Common Core math and English standards, according to a breakdown done by the Legislative Analyst's Office.

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California schools spent about $578 million two years ago on information technology through Prop 98 funding to implement the Common Core math and English standards, according to a breakdown done by the Legislative Analyst's Office.

The 2013-14 state budget allocated $1.25 billion in Prop 98 for the purpose; of that amount, about 45 percent was spent on technology.

Of the $578 million in tech spending, $400 million was spent on devices and accessories, $98 million on tech infrastructure, $43 million on technical assistance, and $37 million on software and operating systems.

The funding was distributed to school districts, charters schools and county offices of education based on their average daily school attendance.

"Of schools’ reported information technology spending, 69 percent was for devices (including laptops, tablets and desktop computers) and accessories (including keyboards, assistive technology, printers and computer carts). Schools spent 17 percent on technology infrastructure, including wiring, routers and wireless access points. Schools spent 8 percent on technical assistance and training, primarily for administrators to learn how to administer online assessments and for teachers to learn how to integrate new technologies into their classrooms. Schools spent 6 percent on various other related purchases, including new software and operating systems," the LAO analysis published on Friday says.

The Common Core Standards, adopted by 41 states in 2010, call for using technology as a tool for learning the standards. According to a Fresno County Office of Education report, a range of technology and media — such as Internet and digital literacy — at each grade level is required in order to achieve the standards.