We received no money to adopt Common Core. We hear it all the time. What if I told you we did? Would you be surprised?
Early in 2009 the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was passed. In this $831 billion stimulus package was a tiny little $53.6 billion in aid aimed toward helping local school districts. This portion of the ARRA was called the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF.) Every state in the nation applied for these funds. Idaho applied for $491million but was awarded $246million.
A few months later, Race to the Top was announced. This competitive grant program, (in which states got to compete to get their own tax dollars back,) was President Obama’s stamp on education reform, his No Child Left Behind.
To be eligible to compete a state had to commit to fulfilling certain criteria. From the Race to the Top Executive Summary
B. Standards and Assessments (70 points)
(B)(1) Developing and adopting common standards (40 points)
(B)(2) Developing and implementing common, high-quality assessments (10 points)
Later in that same document there is this explanation,
B. Standards and Assessments
State Reform Conditions Criteria
(B)(1) Developing and adopting common standards…
The extent to which the State has demonstrated its commitment to adopting a common set of high-quality standards, evidenced by …
—(i) The State’s participation in a consortium of States that— (20 points)
(a) Is working toward jointly developing and adopting a common set of K-12 standards…
(b) Includes a significant number of States; …( emphasis mine)
While Common Core is not specifically named, the only set of standards being developed that met this specific criteria were the Common Core Standards.
Supt. Luna applied for this grant and Idaho won none of the coveted funds. We adopted Common Core anyway. (I don’t know why…)
Let me say it one more time, Idaho received no RTTT funds. However, the Federal Register/ Vol. 74, No. 144/ Wednesday, July 29, 2009 gives us this additional piece criteria,
Our SFSF application had to be approved. In short, we did receive federal $$$, (our tax dollars,) to adopt CC. Lovely.