This is part one of EdReports 2022 State of the Instructional Materials Market Report. Don’t miss part two of the series, which covers teacher perceptions of their curriculum and the supports needed for quality implementation.

In the 2021–22 school year, school districts leveraged federal Elementary and Secondary School Relief (ESSER) funds to invest an estimated $18.9 billion in instructional materials to support accelerating student learning. Recently ESSER funds set to expire in September 2024 were extended to March 2026, marking an ongoing opportunity for school districts to make investments in curriculum as a long term strategy for sustainable change. 

Through our work at EdReports, we know that instructional materials make a difference for students and have a direct impact on learning outcomes. Research tells us that students learn primarily through their interactions with teachers and content. The materials used in classrooms matter for ensuring all kids are college and career-ready, equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in school and life. 

Because of the critical role materials play in accelerating student learning, it is important for a variety of stakeholders—from those working in the classroom to those setting district policy—to have a better understanding of the instructional materials market and how it is growing and changing. This knowledge, as well as the components that can contribute to the use of quality materials in the classroom, can help decision-makers adopt and implement the strongest curriculum for their local context. 

This analysis explores the use of high-quality instructional materials in 2022 and some of the potential factors that contribute to their use. The report draws upon data from EdReports reviews, copyright dates, ESSER spending reports, and data from the RAND Corporation American Instructional Resources Survey (AIRS) on curriculum use, teacher perception, and school context.