Technology and Instructional Materials Allotment (TIMA)
The 82nd Legislature passed SB 6 to create the Instructional Materials Allotment (IMA). The 85th Legislature changed the name of the allotment to reflect the dual purpose nature of the fund to Technology and Instructional Materials Allotment (TIMA) 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 TIMA 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 TIMA.
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 Educational Resources, and
- Instructional materials developed or purchased by the school district.
A school district may use the TIMA in the following ways:
- Purchase Instructional Materials
- 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.
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 Technology and Instructional Materials Allotment. The Commissioner has the responsibility of setting the exact amount of money that will be deposited in a school district’s TIMA 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 TIMA. These expenses include:
- Braille and large type books
- Intra-state freight
- Insurance (flood/natural disasters)
- Technology Lending Program Grants
- Open Educational Resources (OER)
- 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 TIMA can be carried over to the next biennium.
TIMA funds Located in the EMAT System
Once the Commissioner decides what the annual per-pupil funding will be, the district’s TIMA 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 TIMA as a strategic resource before they decide how to use the funds. District leaders need to recognize that they TIMA 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 TIMA 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 Technology and Instructional Material Allotment (TIMA) 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 TIMA 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 TIMA 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 TIMA account. The school district is responsible for tracking the use of the funds to ensure that they are in compliance with the law.
The instructional materials purchased with the TIMA 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 TIMA, must be used according to the rules governing TIMA 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 Educational Resources (OER) submitted by eligible high-education institutions and adopted by the State Board of Education
- Open Educational Resources (OER) made available by other public schools
Instructional materials developed or purchased by the school district