Instructional Materials Allotment (IMA)
The 82nd Legislature passed SB 6 to create the Instructional Materials Allotment (IMA). This allotment is designed to provide funds for districts to purchase the instructional materials that will be used to support the teaching and learning of the curriculum established by the State Board of Education (SBOE) as outlined in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). As the delivery of information has changed over the last ten years outside of school from print to digital, the IMA is designed to give districts the flexibility needed to allow them to deliver content digitally as they deem prudent. SB 6 combined the funds that had been set aside for technology in the Technology Allotment with the funds that had been set aside for textbooks. This requires districts to think strategically when deciding what content they should use instructionally and how technology can support the teaching of the content. In order to make the best use of the allotment, districts will want to include a variety of stakeholders when deciding how to utilize the IMA.
SB 6 defines “instructional material” as content that conveys the essential knowledge and skills of a subject in the public school curriculum through a medium or a combination of media for conveying information to a student including:
- A book
- A combination of a book, workbook, and supplementary materials
- Computer software
- Magnetic media
- DVD, CD-ROM
- Computer courseware
- On-line services or an electronic medium or,
- Other means of conveying information to the student or otherwise contributing to the learning process through electronic means including open-source instructional materials
School districts can choose instructional materials from the following:
- Materials adopted by the State Board of Education
- Materials adopted or purchased by the Commissioner of Education
- Open-source instructional materials, and
- Instructional materials developed or purchased by the school district.
A school district may use the IMA in the following ways:
- Purchase Instructional Materials (link to description of the instructional materials above)
- Pay for the training of teachers in the use of technology:
- Contracted services
- Salaries (payroll) for a FTE
- Pay for the technical support of equipment that is its use is directly related to student learning:
- Contracted services
- Salaries (payroll) for a FTE
- Technological equipment for instructional use
Property of the District
Instructional materials are considered the property of the district and not the state. A district may sell or dispose of instructional materials that are out-of-adoption.
Instructional materials may be disposed of (but not sold) that are still in adoption however, the district must notify the Commissioner of Education when the district disposes of adopted instructional materials.
SB 6 prioritizes the use of the funds in the Instructional Materials Allotment. A district shall use the district’s allotment to purchase in the following order:
- Instructional materials necessary to permit the district to certify that the district has instructional materials to cover all elements of the essential knowledge and skills of the required curriculum (other than physical education for each grade level)
- Any instructional materials or technological equipment as determined by the district.
Every two years the State Board of Education provides the state legislature with monies from the Permanent School Fund (PSF). 50% of what they send to the legislature is set aside to fund the Instructional Materials Allotment. The Commissioner has the responsibility of setting the exact amount of money that will be deposited in a school district’s IMA account. Before the allotment is distributed, there are some expenses that must be subtracted from the total that will impact the allocations for each district. These costs are accounted for at the state level, thus not impacting each district’s IMA. These expenses include:
- Braille and large type books
- Intra-state freight
- Insurance (flood/natural disasters)
- Technology Lending Program
- State-development open-source materials
- Calculations for districts with a fast-growth enrollment. These districts receive more per student because they could potentially have to purchase each new student a whole set of instructional materials.
The exact amount allocated to each district will change each year, depending on student population and the variables mentioned above. The funds in the IMA can be carried over to the next biennium.
IMA funds Located in the EMAT System
Once the Commissioner decides what the annual per-pupil funding will be, the district’s IMA will be disbursed through the EMAT system. The EMAT system will be used to requisition instructional materials that are on the State Board of Education’s list of adopted materials or the Commissioner’s list of electronic materials and/or to request TEA to disburse funds to your school district to purchase instructional materials that are not on either of these two lists or to purchase technological equipment or pay the salaries of technology personnel.
District leaders should view the IMA as a strategic resource before they decide how to use the funds. District leaders need to recognize that they IMA provides them with options and opportunities that they did not have prior to the passage of SB 6. Before SB 6, the district could only choose from a list of textbooks or electronic materials that had been approved by the SBOE or the Commissioner. The district then requisitioned the materials from TEA. These materials would then be delivered to the district, but remained the property of the state.
Over time, many teachers have used the textbook as one of many resources, so they often only need a classroom set of books. Sometime, the state-provided book is not even used by the teacher for instruction at all. This has resulted in wasting valuable resources with state-purchased textbooks being warehoused and not used. The IMA allows districts much more flexibility in not only what is purchased, but also in what quantity and what delivery system best meets their specific needs.
A district can access their Instructional Material Allotment (IMA) via the EMAT system. TEA will deposit the funds allocated for their district to be used in two ways: by requisitioning materials or asking for a disbursement of funds to the district’s bank. Technology equipment can be purchased off the Commissioner’s List (which would be a requisition) or through the disbursement process.
If a district has selected instructional materials that are on the State Board of Education’s list of adopted materials or items on the Commissioner’s List (both electronic materials and technology), they will use the EMAT system to requisition the materials. The cost for these materials will be deducted from the district’s IMA account in the EMAT system. The materials will be shipped to the district.
Once the district has requisitioned the materials they need, the district can then determine how they want to use the remaining funds. Once the district determines that they want to use funds in their IMA for allowable items, they will request TEA to disburse the funds necessary to pay for the item(s). This disbursement request will be done through the EMAT system. TEA will then send the funds electronically to the district’s bank. The amount disbursed to the district will be deducted from the district’s IMA account. The school district is responsible for tracking the use of the funds to ensure that they are incompliance with the law.
The instructional materials purchased with the IMA belong to the district. A district may dispose of the instructional materials when the Board of Trustees determines the materials are no longer needed. If the materials are still under adoption, they will need to notify the commissioner when they dispose of the materials. The materials may be sold, once the materials are no longer under adoption. Any profit made off of materials that were purchased with the IMA, must be used according to the rules governing IMA purchases.
Each year the Board of Trustees of a local school district must certify to the State Board of Education and the commissioner that for each subject in the required curriculum under Section 28. 002, other than physical education, and each grade level, the district provides each student with instructional materials that cover all of the TEKS for that subject and grade level.
To determine whether each student has instructional materials that cover all elements of the essential knowledge and skills, a school district may consider:
- Instructional materials adopted by the State Board of Education
- Materials adopted or purchased by the commissioner
- Open-source instructional materials submitted by eligible high-education institutions and adopted by the State Board of Education
- Open-source instructional materials made available by other public schools
- Instructional materials developed or purchased by the school district