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    July 18, 2014
    Financial concerns cause SBOE to delay instructional materials adoption


    AUSTIN - Concerned that school districts might struggle to pay for new instructional materials that are scheduled for implementation in fall of 2015, the State Board of Education voted to push its scheduled adoption of Proclamation 2016 instructional materials back by one year.

    The estimated projected cost of materials called for in Proclamation 2016 is $78 million. This action would make that funding available for districts and charter schools to spend on instructional materials for subjects called for in Proclamation 2015: high school math; social studies, grades K-12; and fine arts, grades K-12.

    “It’s an action we need to take for the good of our schools,” said State Board of Education member Marty Rowley of Amarillo.

    The financial concern has arisen as districts are adjusting to major changes made through Senate Bill 6 passed by the Texas Legislature in 2011. Prior to SB 6, all instructional materials were paid for and owned by the state. SB 6 established an instructional materials allotment (IMA) that provides each district and charter school with a sum of money available annually for instructional materials and technology.

    Districts and charter schools use their IMA funds to purchase instructional materials, which they then own. Any money unspent in one year by a district or charter school can be carried over to the next year.

    SB 6 also eliminated the established maximum price that could be charged for each instructional material product. This has made accurately predicting the price of new materials difficult. The pricing structure is also much more fluid because materials may be available in printed books, electronic formats, or software licenses.

    To address districts' concern about funding, the board voted to delay the call for new instructional materials for Languages Other Than English and Special Topics in Social Studies including Ethnic Studies by one year.  These materials were originally scheduled to be implemented in 2016. The SBOE now plans to call for these instructional materials in conjunction with Career and Technical Education (CTE) materials in Proclamation 2017.

    SBOE member Thomas Ratliff of Mount Pleasant said this postponement was purely a financial decision.  “We’ve all heard about the razor thin margin districts are on to buy books. We need to look at the pacing of how we do things,” he said.

Last Modified on April 8, 2016