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Advanced Placement: State Provides Financial Incentives for AP Courses

Advanced Placement (AP), first established in 1955 as a program for gifted students, has seen tremendous growth since the 1990s. This database provides information on state policies and programs to support AP offerings in the states.

State provides financial incentives for AP courses: Policies and programs offering financial support for AP courses are a help especially to low-income and small schools. The states listed below have one or more of the following types of policies and programs:

  • Those that provide schools and districts with start-up or expansion funds to purchase textbooks and classroom materials for AP courses. Currently 10 states -- Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin -- have state policies or programs (not including federal funds) to support equipment and instructional material costs for AP courses.
  • Those that financially reward schools and/or districts for the number of students completing AP courses and/or earning a "3" or higher on an AP exam. Currently three states -- Florida, Oklahoma and Texas -- provide schools and/or districts with such rewards.

In addition, Kentucky offers financial counseling to districts to help them maximize their dollars to subsidize AP programs. New Mexico provides financal assistance for "core curriculum frameworks" that support AP and pre-AP efforts.

This information was collected from statutes, state board regulations and state education agency Web sites from April to August 2006, and will be updated as new policies and programs are enacted. Limited information is included on federal AP programs; for details on states receiving funding through the U.S. Department of Education's Advanced Placement Incentive Program, please visit the department Web site.

Sources for all data points are accessible through this link.

This database was compiled by Jennifer Dounay, project manager, ECS High School Policy Center. For questions, additions or corrections: 303.299.3689 or jdounay@ecs.org.

State provides financial incentives for AP courses
Alabama Yes. In the 2006-2007 school year, the Alabama Department of Education is offering districts competitive grants to help cover the costs of instructional materials and supplies for AP teachers. "Instructional materials funding is available for 125 new AP courses and 125 existing AP courses. For each new AP teacher who completes a College Board-approved 2007 summer institute, the LEA can apply for $1,200 per classroom to purchase instructional materials to support implementation of the new AP class. For existing AP classes, the LEA can request $1,200 per classroom to purchase instructional materials and supplies for the 2006-2007 school year provided that the teacher has attended a College Board-approved AP summer institute in the specific subject area within the past three years."
Arkansas Yes. Schools offering AP courses may apply for a one-time equipment and instructional materials grant for each AP course. In addition, depending on availability of funds, schools may be awarded up to $50 for a score of 3 or higher on any AP test. Funds must be used in the schools' AP program. Schools must annually submit a report to the Arkansas Department of Education with detailed expenditures of funds awarded for students' AP test scores.
Florida Yes. For every student in each AP course who scores 3 or higher on the prior year's exam, a district is calculated a .24 full-time equivalent (FTE) student membership, to be added to the to the total FTE student membership for grades 9-12 for the subsequent fiscal year. Districts must allocate at least 80% of these funds to the high school generating the funds. The district must award to each AP teacher a $50 bonus for each AP student he/she instructed who received a 3 or higher on the AP exam. Districts must award "an additional bonus of $500" to each AP teacher in a school with a "D" or "F" accountability rating who has at least one student scoring 3 or higher on the AP exam, "regardless of the number of classes taught or of the number of students scoring a 3 or higher on the" AP exam. Teacher bonuses under either designation may not exceed $2,000 in a school year and must "be in addition to any regular wage or other bonus the teacher received or is scheduled to receive."

In addition, the merit award program for instructional staff and school-based administrators requires participating districts to administer an end-of-course assessment to measure student achievement. AP exams may be used for this purpose.
Indiana Yes. Out of funds appropriated to the department of education to implement the AP program, the state gives third and fourth priority (out of five) to paying school districts for instructional materials needed for AP math and science courses, and paying for or renting equipment a district may need to develop an AP math or science course. The state gives fifth priority to paying fees for the costs incurred in implementing AP programs in subjects other than math and science.
Kentucky The state board was directed in 2002 to "compare the costs of offering advanced placement courses through traditional on-site instruction, the Kentucky Virtual High School, and other methods and ... offer each school district assistance, if requested, in analyzing how the school district can most cost-effectively offer the largest number of advanced placement courses...."
Massachusetts Yes. "Subject to appropriation, the board shall establish a grant program which shall award grants to school districts for the costs associated with establishing advanced placement courses. The board shall promulgate regulations defining the standards of eligibility and other implementation guidelines."
Minnesota Yes. In the 2006-2007 school year, the department of education is reimbursing school $1,000 for offering a new AP course. Funds may be used for such classroom resources as textbooks, lab equipment or supplementary materials. 

A competitive grant program is designed to expand AP and pre-AP course offerings. Grant awards may not exceed the lesser of $85 times the number of students enrolled at the participating sites on October 1 of the previous fiscal year, or the approved supplemental expenditures set out in the grant application. Funding may be used to:
(1) Provide teacher training and instruction to more effectively serve students, including low-income and other disadvantaged students, in pre-AP and AP programs
(2) Further develop pre-AP and AP courses or programs
(3) Improve the transition between grade levels to help students, including low-income and other disadvantaged students, succeed in pre-AP and AP programs
(4) Buy books and supplies
(5) Pay course or program fees
(6) Increase student participation and success in pre-AP and AP programs
(7) Expand student access to pre-AP or AP courses or programs through online learning
(8) Hire appropriately licensed personnel to teach additional AP programs
(9) Engage in other activity directly related to expanding student access, participation and success in pre-AP and AP courses or programs, including low-income and other disadvantaged students.

Any group of districts that meets specified criteria may apply for an incentive grant for construction of a new secondary facility or for remodeling and improving an existing secondary facility. Among the 11 criteria the proposed facility must meet is "an education program is developed that provides for more learning opportunities and course offerings, including the offering of advanced placement courses, for students than is currently available in any single member district...."
Missouri Yes. The "Incentives for School Excellence Program," a matching fund program of variable match rates, includes AP programs as one of the 11 program topics suitable for obtaining matching funds.
New Mexico Yes. Districts and charters are authorized to develop core curriculum frameworks. Frameworks must include:
"(1) a curriculum that is aligned with state academic content and performance standards that is challenging, specific as to content and sequential from grade to grade, similar to a core curriculum sequence;
(2) in-depth professional development for teachers that includes vertical teaming in content areas; and
(3) content, materials and instructional strategies or methodologies that current research demonstrates are likely to lead to improved student achievement" in pre-AP and AP programs in grades 7-12. The public education department offers districts and charter schools grants to support core curriculum frameworks.
Oklahoma Yes. Through the Oklahoma Advanced Placement Incentive Program, the state board may award schools $100 for each score of 3 or higher on an AP test. These funds must be used to develop the school's AP program. The state program also provides one-time equipment and materials grants of up to $5,000 for each AP course. A school receiving a grant must offer the AP course beginning the school year after receiving the grant.

In addition, districts that participate in the consolidation and annexation incentives program have, for the first three years "after consolidation or annexation preference for allocations from funds" for AP incentives, among others.
Texas Yes. Schools may receive a one-time $3,000 equipment grant for providing an AP course. Funds are awarded to a school based on need as determined by the commissioner. However, according to a June 2007 Texas Education Agency report, the $3,000 equipment grant was last funded in the 2002-2003 biennium.

A school may also be awarded up to $100 for each student who scores a 3 or higher on an AP exam. Equipment grants and score reward funds must be used in the manner determined by the campus team convened by the principal. However, the school must "give priority to academic enhancement purposes in using an award received under the program," and may not use the award "for any purpose related to athletics."

The state also targets financial incentives for AP teachers. A teacher may receive a one-time $250 award for teaching an AP class for the first time. In addition, the state may deposit $50 in the teacher bonus pool for each student enrolled in the school that scores a three or better on an AP exam. An AP teacher may receive "a share of the teacher bonus pool, which [must] be distributed by the teacher's school in shares proportional to the number of [AP] courses taught." However, according to a June 2007 Texas Education Agency report, neither the $250 award nor the teacher bonus pool share has ever been funded by the state.

A district "is entitled to state revenue necessary to provide the district with the sum of ... an amount equal to the product of $275 multiplied by the number of students in average daily attendance in grades nine through 12 in the district." One of the ways districts may use these funds is to "implement or administer a program that encourages students to pursue advanced academic opportunities, including early college high school programs and dual credit, advanced placement, and international baccalaureate courses...." The state additionally provides districts with an annual allotment for each student identified as gifted and talented. Such funds may be used to provide AP programs.
Utah Yes. The state makes available AP funds "to offset the costs of funding smaller classes; to fund workshops within the district to work on beginning, implementing, or coordinating an Advanced Placement Program;" to purchase needed supplemental texts, materials and equipment for a library, laboratory or classroom; and "to assist with costs of distance learning programs, equipment or instructors which could increase the AP options in a school." "Funds are distributed on the basis of the following: the total funds designated for the Advanced Placement Program are divided by the total number of Advanced Placement exams passed with a grade of 3 or higher by students in the public schools of Utah. This results in a fixed amount of dollars per exam passed. Each participating school district receives that amount for each exam successfully passed by one of its students."

Funds allocated for accelerated learning programs through Section 53A-17a-104 must be allocated to districts for any of three programs: AP, concurrent enrollment and programs for gifted and talented students in grades 1-12. The state board is mandated to "develop uniform and consistent policies for school districts to follow in utilizing advanced placement and concurrent enrollment monies."
Wisconsin Yes. The state's Advanced Coursework Expansion Reimbursement offers funds to partially reimburse districts for the costs of offering IB and Advanced Placement (AP) courses in high schools that added new IB or AP courses during the previous school year. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction received funds for the program in 2006-2007 and included $100,000 for the program in its 2007-2009 biennial budget proposal, which is pending legislative approval as of August 2007.


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