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Entries in Oklahoma Common Core Standards (1)


Oklahoma Common Core Implementation Costs

Oklahoma Common Core Implementation Costs


by Henry W. Burke


(Original -- 2.28.13)


Revised 3.05.13  (Section "C" added)





It will cost Oklahoma $231 million (net amount) to implement the Common Core Standards (CCS).  Where will Oklahoma find $231 million to implement the mediocre Common Core Standards?   




I will call your attention to an excellent Pioneer Institute report, "National Cost of Aligning States and Localities to the Common Core Standards," dated February 2012 (PI report) and my report, "States' Taxpayers Cannot Afford Common Core Standards," by Henry W. Burke, dated 10.15.12 (Burke report).  These are the links to the reports:





I also wrote a companion report applicable to the states that did not adopt the Common Core Standards, "Non-Common Core States Will Save Millions of Dollars," by Henry W. Burke, 10.18.12:




Oklahoma gave up very good state standards to adopt the inferior Common Core Standards.  According to a 2010 Fordham Institute report that compared the state standards with the Common Core Standards, Oklahoma had good English Language Arts standards and Mathematics standards ("Too Close to Call"). 



I encourage you to realistically evaluate the costs versus the benefits for the State of Oklahoma.  I will focus only on the cost of implementing the Common Core Standards (CCS) versus the dollar awards received from the federal government. 



I thought I would offer a little insight into the CCS implementation costs.  This explanation includes the Pioneer report figures and my assumptions.  Obviously, I cannot speak for the Pioneer Institute nor its partners in the white paper, Accountability Works and Pacific Research Institute.  These are strictly my thoughts, assumptions and calculations.



The Pioneer Institute report identified four cost categories for CCS implementation.  The categories are: Testing, Professional Development, Textbooks, and Technology.  Pioneer calculated the total CCS implementation cost over a 7-year time period. 



The PI report included bar graphs (without dollar figures) for each state in Professional Development, Textbooks, and Technology.  The Appendices to the PI report showed exact dollar figures for each state in only the Textbooks and Technology categories.  This is the link to the Pioneer Institute Appendices:



Consequently, I had to derive figures for Testing and Professional Development for each of the 46 states.  My goal was to duplicate the Pioneer figures as closely as possible.  My nationwide totals for the four categories agree quite closely with the Pioneer Institute report. 




A.  Oklahoma CCS Loss



The State of Oklahoma submitted a proposal to the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) for Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Race to the Top (RTTT) program and received a rank of No. 34 in Phase 1 and a rank of No. 20 in Phase 2 of that competition.  The 12 "winning" states under Phase 1 and Phase 2 of RTTT received a total of $3.94 billion.  Oklahoma did not receive any funds under the Phase 1 and 2 competition.  In subsequent competitions, Oklahoma received $15,465,616 ($15.466 million) for competitive stimulus awards.




In the Burke Table 1, CCS Loss Per State, the CCS Total Cost for Oklahoma is $246.387 million; and the federal competitive award total is $15.466 million.  The difference is $230.921 million.

[$246.387 million - $15.466 million = $230.921 million]



This means Oklahoma will have to find $231 million to pay for the implementation expense of CCS.





B.  Oklahoma CCS Cost



In the Burke Table 2, CCS Cost Per Student, we can see that Oklahoma has a CCS Cost per Student of $377.  This is essentially identical to the average cost per student of $379 (average cost for the 46 CCS states).



Table 3, Total CCS Cost, lists the components making up the Total CCS Cost of $246.387 million for Oklahoma.  Testing cost is $19.382 million; Professional Development cost is $82.411 million; Textbook cost is $37.024 million; and Technology cost is $107.570 million.



In round numbers, Oklahoma will spend $19 million on Testing, $82 million on Professional Development, $37 million on Textbooks, and $108 million on Technology.  The Total CCS Cost for Oklahoma will be $246 million.




Explanation of Figures


1.  Testing


a.  Nationwide CCS Testing Cost


Testing is a function of the number of students tested.  Table 5 in my report shows the Total Nationwide Cost for the 46 CCS states.  My Table 5 duplicates Pioneer Figure 2B (on page 2 of the PI report).  Figure 2B shows a Total Testing Cost of $1,240,641,297. 



Table 6 (Burke report) lists the number of students and teachers in each of the 46 states; the total for the 46 states is 41,805,062 students.  I obtained all of the numbers in Table 6 from the Pioneer report Appendices (NCES: 2009 - 2010 School Year). 



When I divided $1,240,641,297 by 41,805,062 students, I obtained a factor of $29.67681993 per student.  This Testing cost factor was applied to each of the 46 states to get the Testing cost for each state.  My Total Testing Cost of $1,240.641 million agrees with the Pioneer Figure 2B number.



b.  Oklahoma CCS Testing Cost


Oklahoma has a total student enrollment of 653,118 students (Burke Table 6).  When I multiplied 653,118 students by the $29.6768 factor per student, I obtained $19.382 million.

[653,118 students  x  $29.67681993 per student = $19,382,465]




2.  Professional Development


The purpose of Professional Development is to train the teachers on the new Common Core academic standards.  Professional Development is a function of the number of teachers that must be trained.  Pioneer used a Professional Development cost of $1,931 per teacher.



Oklahoma has 42,678 teachers (Burke Table 6).  When I multiplied 42,678 teachers by $1,931 per teacher, I obtained $82.411 million.

[42,678 teachers  x  $1,931 per teacher = $82,411,218]



Incidentally, my calculations produced a Professional Development Cost for California of $605.938 million.  The PI report bar graph showed the number $606 million for California.  This verifies that my calculation assumptions and methodology are correct.




3.  Textbooks


I obtained the Textbook cost for Oklahoma directly from the Pioneer Institute Appendix.  The Table in the Appendix showed a Total Textbook Cost for Oklahoma of $37,023,927 ($37.024 million).



The PI Appendix listed the following numbers for Textbooks and Instructional Materials:




Oklahoma Textbook Cost

(Millions of Dollars)




Textbook Cost

($ Millions)















  Subtotal -- K - 6










  Subtotal -- 7 - 9










  Subtotal -- 10 - 12




    Total -- K - 12






4.  Technology


I obtained the Technology cost for Oklahoma directly from the Pioneer Appendix.  The PI Appendix lists the Total Technology Cost for Oklahoma as $107,570,415 ($107.570 million).



The PI Appendix provides the following information:




Oklahoma Technology Cost 

(Millions of Dollars)






($ Millions)




($ Millions)

One-Time Costs



Year 1 Operations



Years 2 - 7 Operations (Annual)



Total for 6 Years (Years 2 - 7)



    Total Technology Cost








C.  Urgency of Decision


We know that the total cost to implement CCS in Oklahoma will be $246.387 million ($246 million), but we have not said anything about the timing.  The timing for the expenditures is extremely important!



A sizeable portion of the total CCS implementation cost is spent early in the process.  In the Pioneer Report Figure 2B, two-thirds (about 66 %) of the Total Cost falls into the up-front, one-time cost period.  Pioneer shows a one-time cost of $10,522,885,028; the Total Cost is $15,835,121,347.  When I divide these two numbers, I get 66 %.



For Oklahoma, the figures are as follows:




Timing of Oklahoma CCS Costs

(Millions of Dollars)



Cost Category


One-Time Cost

 ($ Millions)

Years 1 - 7


($ Millions)

Total Cost --

Up-Front &

for 7 Years

($ Millions)





Professional Development












    Total Cost




    Percentage of Total

    66 %

    34 %

  100 %




As this table shows, 66 % of the total cost ($163.121 million) is incurred as an up-front, one-time cost.  If Oklahoma has any interest in dropping the CCS, the state should act very soon.  Much of the CCS implementation expense (66 %) hits very early in the process.  If the state delays the decision to drop CCS, it could waste $163 million on a system that it is not going to use.  The decision is urgent!





Please contact me if you would like copies of my two reports.







Bio for Henry W. Burke



Henry Burke is a Civil Engineer  with a B.S.C.E. and M.S.C.E.  He has been a Registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) for 37 years and has worked as a Civil Engineer in construction for over 40 years.

 [Burke received his MSCE from Oklahoma State University in 1972.] 


Mr. Burke had a successful 27-year career with a large construction contractor. 


Henry Burke serves as a full-time volunteer to oversee various construction projects. He has written numerous articles on education, engineering, construction, politics, taxes, and the economy.



Henry W. Burke