It’s interesting, reading through the district’s “Equity Considerations for Budgeting” documents to see two items related to curriculum changes listed with no indication of whether they will be funded next year. On page 53, the item “K-5 reading program exploration” does not include an indication of whether it will be funded in the 2023-24 budget. And on page 56, two items about adopting a new middle and high school math curriculum have question marks next to them. 

Updates to the elementary literacy curriculum and secondary math curriculum have been part of administration presentations to the school board for the past two years. Both programs would presumably align with the strategy to “provide standards-based core instruction with a focus on math and literacy,” which the board recently adopted as one of its five priority strategies in the strategic plan.

The district recently completed an audit of the elementary literacy curriculum that found that it did not meet district standards. That curriculum, Benchmark Advance, was adopted in 2017 under former Superintendent Ed Graff. It is a type of “balanced literacy” curriculum that is considered by many experts to be an ineffective way of teaching children to read. If the district chooses to replace it with an evidence-based curriculum, the district could be eligible for State reimbursement as part of the $75 million Read Act legislation that was included in the omnibus education bill that has passed the House and Senate.