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.
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.
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 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
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
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.