Textbook Adoption Process

The state's adoption process provides schools with a pathway to secure high-quality instructional materials at the most cost-effective rates. Rigorous evaluative criteria are thoughtfully crafted, and materials undergo thorough scrutiny to ensure that only the finest resources are accessible. These chosen materials, carefully selected, serve as invaluable tools, dedicated to supporting the overarching goals and objectives outlined in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study.


NCDPI creates the “Invitation to Submit Textbooks for Evaluation and Adoption in North Carolina”, outlining procedures for submission, evaluation, and adoption of the instructional material.

The Invitation includes:

  • Materials being considered for adoption
  • Criteria Sheets for evaluation
  • Subject area NC standards
  • Tentative schedule outlining the entire adoption process
  • Submission parameters for publishers
  • Legal documents and forms for publishers

Once the invitation is prepared, it’s presented to the State Board of Education for approval.

Invitation to Bid

The State Board of Education must approve the “Invitation to Submit Textbooks for Evaluation and Adoption in North Carolina” before it is sent to the publishers registered on the NC Publishers Registry. Only publishers on the NC Publishers Registry will be sent the invitation and can submit materials for evaluation and adoption.


The Textbook Commission is tasked with appointing evaluation advisors to assess textbook submissions. This involves reviewing content areas, grade levels, and courses slated for evaluation and adoption based on the criteria set forth in the invitation, with the total bid submissions determining the number of advisors selected.

Qualifications, Orientation, and Training for Textbook Evaluation Advisors:
Each advisor must hold certification in the relevant area(s) they are evaluating, with preference given to those currently teaching in those fields. Advisors are meticulously chosen based on their expertise and experience, receiving compensation of $150.00 per day for a maximum of ten days. Advisors participate in orientation and specialized training on content standards and evaluation criteria set by the Department of Public Instruction. The evaluation process follows training for a specified duration determined by the Textbook Commission, and upon completion, advisors submit comprehensive written and verbal reports of their findings to the Commission.


The Commission assembles to deliberate on the findings of both advisors and its members, crafting a comprehensive list of recommendations destined for presentation to the State Board of Education. Subsequently, sealed bids are unveiled, and bid prices are integrated into the recommendations. It's noteworthy that the Commission does not factor in price when formulating its recommendations. As a standard procedure, the Textbook Commission is mandated to submit a written evaluation, endorsed by the responsible Commission member, for each textbook or program under consideration.


During a State Board meeting, the Board officially approves the list of materials, taking into account the Textbook Commission's recommendations, alignment with criteria outlined in the "Invitation to Submit Textbooks for Evaluation and Adoption in North Carolina," adherence to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, pricing considerations, and the specific needs of public schools.

Upon the adoption of materials, contracts are dispatched to the publishers who submitted them, and these contracts remain in force for a duration of five years without any price escalation. The adopted materials, now under contract, are slated for introduction into schools in the subsequent year. Following state adoption, local textbook selection committees initiate a fresh round of reviews and evaluations to discern which materials align most effectively with the unique needs of their students.

Standard Course of Study