For the past several years there have been cuts for textbooks and instructional materials. What has been the impact on schools and students?
Staff in the Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs (OCIP) has worked to minimize the impact of reductions on schools and to maintain consumable materials and texts that are critical to the instructional program, including elementary mathematics workbooks, elementary instrumental music workbooks, and elementary science materials. Also during this period, funding has been allocated for central purchase of texts and materials to support implementation of the elementary integrated curriculum and to support implementation of new curriculum in secondary courses.
As school allocations of funding for textbooks and materials have been reduced, schools have replaced only those texts, media, and other instructional materials they determine to be most critical. They have replenished inventories at a slower rate and have used texts and materials longer, repairing them where possible. Cost saving initiatives, efficiencies, and innovations have reduced the need for some purchases and reducing schools’ expenditures. Central copying through the Copy Plus program has resulted in significant savings in paper and toner for schools—items that were purchased previously using instructional materials funds.
Cost saving initiatives, efficiencies, and innovations are reducing the need for some purchases and reducing schools’ expenditures. Central copying through the Copy Plus program has resulted in significant savings in paper and toner for schools—items that were purchased by previously using instructional materials funds. Teamworks, a new program to support copier repair and maintenance, has resulted in further savings for schools by ending the need for schools to lease or purchase copiers. Prior to Teamworks, schools used materials funds for the lease/purchase of copiers.
School Library Media Programs staff in OCIP have collaborated with the Maryland State Department of Education to secure online instructional resources for schools at no cost or at a significant discount, including research databases and encyclopedias. OCIP also searches for materials supporting the curriculum that can be provided to schools for free or at a reduced cost. The Department of Materials Management and staff in the Office of the Chief Technology Officer negotiate with vendors to reach the lowest possible price by bundling products and delivery dates.