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Common Core opponents say that the cost of implementing the new standards is burdensome and an “unfunded local mandate.” But I’d been impressed with the organized and high energy way that the White Mountains Regional School District is rolling out the new standards. The district is way down the road, under the direction of Superintendent Dr. Harry Fensom and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction Melissa Keenan. This small, North Country school district even has teams of coaches in each school dedicated to coaching the classroom teachers.
When I asked Dr. Fensom how costly that high-energy Common Core rollout was, he said:
The White Mountains Regional School District’s implementation of the NH Career and College Standards, New Hampshire’s standards based on the Common Core State Standards, has to date required no increase in the district-approved budget.
The new standards have been implemented in all WMRSD classrooms. We have seen some increases in costs for technology hardware and infrastructure which were not absolutely necessary but will allow us to reduce the testing time.
With regard to curriculum, training, etc. there have been no increases to accommodate CCSS. We have used the same funding sources (budget , Grants and some surplus) to meet these needs.