If there is one issue Gov. Bobby Jindal is going to fight the federal government on, it’s Common Core.
The Common Core State Standards were adopted by the state in 2010, encompassing English language arts (ELA) and math. Full implementation of the standards did not come until this past school year, bypassing a transitional year that was originally planned.
Jindal has filed suit against the Obama administration, claiming that the Department of Education (DOE) illegally “manipulated grant money and regulations to force states to adopt” the controversial Common Core State Standards. Jindal, in the suit, says that DOE $4.3 billion grant program for states who adopt Common Core, essentially forces states to adopt the standards, in order to receive federal funding.
Jindal claims that the grant program aligned with the Common Core violates the state sovereignty clause of the US Constitution by basically having the federal government control state education systems via the standards.
Jindal said the Common Core, which is was once for, is the federal governments last attempt to take over issues that should be left up to states.
“The federal government has hijacked and destroyed the Common Core initiative,” Jindal said in a statement. “Common Core is the latest effort by big government disciples to strip away state rights and put Washington, D.C., in control of everything.”
Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), who is running for the state’s governorship, recently came out in support of the Common Core, calling them “strong” and “positive” for students.
Most Common Core opponents say the standards strip away all local and state control over curriculum, opting for a federally recognized education system. But, Vitter said that while he supports Common Core, he also strongly supports local and state control.
“I would take an aggressive, hands-on approach (to) get curriculum and implementation right. I’d ensure the state and locals maintain complete control over curriculum, lesson plans and reading lists and make good decisions on those. And I’d demand effective planning and preparation with parents, school boards and teachers,” Vitter said in his statement to AP.
By backing the Common Core, Vitter has most-likely lined up support from the state’s business community, which majority-wise supports the state standards. Lt. Gov.
Republican Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne, who is also running for governor, supports the Common Core, as does gubernatorial candidate State Rep. John Bel Edwards (D-Amite).
Note: This report previously misstated that Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne opposed Common Core and has since been corrected.