Though new textbooks are published every year and for all grade levels, school districts do not typically purchase new books more often than every seven to 15 years. Some school districts avoid these lengthy times between text purchases by not using formal textbooks in lower grades.
Though many districts strive to use a five-year textbook replacement cycle, budget concerns often extend the cycle by several years. Once a replacement cycle has begun, it typically takes two to three years to choose and approve a new textbook or textbook version for use in schools.
Another concern that has affected the purchase of science textbooks since 2009 is their adherence to Common Core Standards, an approach favored in some states, but highly controversial in others. Some districts have reported waiting until new books featuring the Common Core curriculum are available for purchase in their states. This wait is often compounded by the lengthy textbook adoption process required in many states and districts.