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TUSD to spend $1 mil on tech for Common Core
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With the arrival of the new statewide Common Core Standards for schools just around the corner, the Turlock Unified School District is now ironing out the details of implementing the plan — including funding.

On Tuesday night, the TUSD Board of Directors approved allocation of the $2.7 million spending plan associated with the implementation of Common Core in the 2014-2015 school year. The one time funds are part of the 2013-2014 State budget to support the district's transition into Common Core.

According to the district spending plan, the funds will be used in three different categories: professional development for teachers and staff, instructional materials, and technology based materials.

Currently, the district has trained 108 district teacher leaders who will be serving at their respective school sites, in order to train staff and teachers about Common Core Standards.

Assistant Superintendent Dana Trevethan said she was confident in the training capabilities of the district staff, and the staff selected to conduct the training will help smooth the transition into Common Core.

“We are using our folks who have a great deal of expertise,” said Trevethan. “We’re building that capacity of knowledge related to Common Core so they will feel comfortable and confident in moving forward in helping us roll out Common Core over the next two years.”

Training for all staff on Common Core is set to being in November. 

Along with professional development, Trevethan also touched on the use of funds for technology that will be used in next year’s Common Core spending plan. Based on the current spending plan, over $1 million is set aside to be spent on technology and computer based learning for the Common Core adaptation.

TUSD Trustee Frank Lima said although he supports the current spending plan, he thinks the one time funds should also be used on all aspects of technology, along with instructional materials and professional development.

“We’re allocating what the State is giving us entirely to training and materials and look for other source of funds for technology,” said Lima. “I think it’s appropriate, but we’ve got to realize that we are taking funds that would otherwise be available for other uses.”

Trevethan agreed with Lima’s sentiment and stated that the district will indeed be allocating funds towards technology based instruction, but not towards infrastructure outside the classroom.  

“Our Common Core spending plan did target professional development, instructional materials including textbooks, and also technology based instruction,” said Trevethan. “The one area we did not move forward with the common core spending plan was infrastructure for things that happen outside the classroom that don't actually reach teachers and students hands.”

The implementation of Common Core Standards for all California schools is set to begin in the 2014-2015 school year.