Bucking his state’s legislature, Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced his intention to have the Bayou State withdraw from participating in Common Core, the controversial educational program that sets nationwide standards in English language arts and math for K-12 students.
“The federal government would like to assert control of our educational system and rush implementation of a one-size-fits-all set of standards that raises a lot of serious concerns,” Jindal said at a news conference. “We’re very alarmed about choice and local control over curriculum being taken away from our parents and from our educators.”
Jindal joins a growing list of conservatives
who once supported the initiative but have since back pedaled following President Obama’s decision to tie federal education grants to states’ adopting the standards.
Many conservatives have derided the program as the federal government trying to cede control from states to determine local education standards. Forty-six states and the District of Columbia originally adopted the standards. Should Louisiana withdraw, it would be the fifth state to do so.
The governors of Oklahoma and South Carolina recently signed laws repealing Common Core, according to The New York Times
But unlike those two states, Louisiana’s lawmakers and the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education want to keep Common Core. Despite the Louisiana legislature’s “overwhelming” support for “nationally recognized standards,” Jindal vetoed the measure, the Times reports.
“This is not a situation like we had in Oklahoma,” said John White, Louisiana’s Superintendent of Education. “This is a situation where the elected bodies in this state have affirmed and commanded that this be the path.”
Jindal said he will not allow the federal government to wrest control from the people of Louisiana.
“If other states want to give up their 10th Amendment rights, that’s fine,” he said. “We’re not doing that in Louisiana.”
Eliminating Common Core could bolster Jindal’s credentials as a true conservative should he decide to seek the presidency in 2016. The Wall Street Journal
notes that Jindal’s position puts him on a “collision course” with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, an outspoken Common Core supporter who may also seek the Republican nomination.
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