By John Fensterwald
The state could be liable for as much as $1 billion per year in costs if a group of school districts succeeds in winning reimbursement for expenses associated with the implementation of computer-based tests in the Common Core and other new state standards.
Four unified districts – Santa Ana, Vallejo, Plumas and Porterville – and the Plumas County Office of Education filed a claim to classify the new tests as state mandates. If the Commission on State Mandates agrees, the state will be required to reimburse all districts statewide seeking to recover costs. The California School Boards Association, which is financing the effort, announced the filing Wednesday.
With Assembly Bill 484, passed in 2013, the Legislature replaced STAR, the testing system for the former state standards, with a new testing regimen called the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress program, or CAASPP. It lays out a timetable for a series of statewide computer-administered assessments, starting this spring with the Smarter Balanced tests on the Common Core State Standards in math and English language arts that all districts must give.