Budget & Funding

  • Before selecting instructional materials, the review team should have a basic understanding of the budget for these materials, as well as the funding options. A state/district may have a line item in the budget for instructional materials; however, other ancillary costs should also be considered, such as the delivery platform and the training required for teachers to implement these materials. More details about budget and funding are provided in these sections.

    Key Questions

    • What is your budget for instructional materials?
    • What are the costs for purchased digital materials?
    • What are the print costs of downloaded materials?
    • Will you incur licensing fees for programs or apps?
    • Will you need to purchase devices?
    • Will you need to increase your internet capacity to utilize the materials?
    • Will you incur additional costs to curate materials online?
    • Do you need to upgrade your content delivery platform?
    • Do all of your teachers and students have access to non-shared devices?
      • If not, how are you addressing this issue?
      • Have you considered a BYOD program?
  • Many states and districts are utilizing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), a financial estimate that includes metrics and processes to determine the total cost of acquiring and maintaining instructional materials. Shifting to digital materials requires critical consideration regarding both access to the instructional materials and maintaining the technology tools and services to support the content. Understanding the overall cost for selecting and implementing instructional materials helps determine your return on investment.

    Key Considerations

    • purchases of instructional materials
    • print costs of downloaded materials,
    • licensing fees for programs or apps;
    • purchase of devices;
    • increasing internet bandwidth;
    • implementing wireless spots;
    • a new or updated content delivery platform;
    • technology maintenance and updates;
    • curation of the materials;
    • professional development and training.
  • Budget models for instructional materials are changing to support the shift to digital learning. Transformative budgeting, a model that accomplishes innovation within existing budgets. The following three essential strategies characterize transformative budgeting when applied to technology readiness for digital learning:

    1. Alignment of technology expenditures with the goals in the district’s strategic plans.
    2. A cross-functional budget leadership team that brings together finance, technology, curriculum and instruction.
    3. Transformative zero-based budgeting – a process through which education leaders begin each budget cycle at zero in each category, and then add costs to the budget only when there is evidence that such costs are required to meet goals.

    Key Questions

    • What are the regulations and statutes on acquiring instructional materials?
    • What you can buy when – core vs supplemental, intervention?
    • What is the budget for selecting and adopting instructional materials?
    • Have you considered transformative budgeting (i.e., re-purposing funds)?
    • Does your budget differ for core materials versus supplemental materials?
    • What costs would you incur to modify the OER to fit your district/schools learning standards?
    • What is the cost comparison between using digital OER and printing OER materials?
    • Will you need to increase your internet capacity to utilize the materials?
    • Do you need to upgrade your content delivery platform?
    • Do all of your teachers and students have access to non-shared devices?
      • If not, how are you addressing this issue?
      • Have you considered a BYOD program?
  • SETDA’s research results show that a plurality (24) of states have a textbook definition that includes the option for digital textbooks. Fifteen states have a definition for digital instructional materials/learning resources/digital text. By broadening the textbook definition, states can use traditional textbook funding for the acquisition of digital instructional materials.

    In South Carolina, the state legislature provides funding for core instructional materials adopted by the state. Districts and schools must use local funds for the purchase of supplemental materials.

    Key Questions

    • Do you have dedicated funding for the acquisition of instructional materials?
    • Do schools have additional, discretionary funds for instructional materials?
    • What are the differences between funding core materials versus supplemental materials?
    • What are the costs for purchased digital materials?
LEADERSHIP - TECHNOLOGY - INNOVATION - LEARNING
©2017 SETDA, All Rights Reserved Privacy Policy