Paying for the use of Spanish measures does not seem equitable. Why is that?
We believe strongly in equity, which is why we personally funded the Spanish language literacy measures (with no federal or state funding) out of our personal bank accounts. It costs us approximately $5,000 per month in Amazon Server fees alone to make easyCBM available for teachers to use, and that doesn't include our monthly costs for computer programmers to keep the system up and running and our support team to answer questions such as yours and help guide teachers into how best to use the system. In order to be able to continue to offer the Lite Edition free of charge, we need the fees collected through subscriptions to the Teacher Deluxe and District systems to offset these costs.
We began easyCBM as a free tool for teachers to use. As it's popularity grew, and we received requests for a district-wide application of our program, we added our District version and joined with our partners at Riverside Insights to manage those accounts.
As time went on, we had customers who wanted some of the features and additional measures the District version offered, but were too small to utilize this type of account. This brought us to the creation of the Deluxe version.
It was at this time, we were trying to bring Spanish measures to our new expanded program. Although we applied for a number of grants to allow us to expand the system to include Spanish language assessments, no federal funds were ever granted for that purpose. Because we believed strongly that it was important to provide Spanish language assessments, we personally (as in from personal bank accounts, not university, state, or federal funds) underwrote the cost of developing and piloting the Spanish language measures. We were excited to be able to offer this to our Teacher Deluxe program.
Because the Deluxe version was developed several years after the grant funding that underwrote the cost of developing the Lite version, we needed to generate funds in order to upgrade the new Deluxe program with additional measures and features as well as manage the new program. Today, we offer this upgraded Deluxe version with an annual cost of 49.99. To date we are still seeking to obtain a grant that would allow us to develop high school measures.