Thursday, February 6, 2014

Senator Angus King: No problem with Common Core Federal Funding

On Wednesday Senators introduced a resolution denouncing the coercion of states with Common Core. U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) introduced a resolution strongly denouncing the Obama Administration's coercion of states into adopting Common Core State Standards by conferring preferences in federal grants and flexibility waivers.

The resolution is co-sponsored by Senators Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi), Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), and Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming).

"The Obama Administration has effectively bribed and coerced states into adopting Common Core," said Graham. "Blanket education standards should not be a prerequisite for federal funding. In order to have a competitive application for some federal grants and flexibility waivers, states have to adopt Common Core. This is simply not the way the Obama Administration should be handling education policy. Our resolution affirms that education belongs in the hands of our parents, local officials and states." (The original post)

No Common Core Maine (NCCM) members contacted Senator King (Maine) to urge his support of the resolution however Senator King has no problem with the federal funding and does not recognize any federal interference in state and local education.

Senator King writes: "I do not think the federal government has overstepped its bounds in this case, given the indirect nature of federal funding for the project, whose standards have been developed exclusively by a state-led consortium. I agree that the federal government's role in education should be limited to supporting state and local institutions, and I believe that this model has been met in the case of Common Core." He further states: "The other federal funds in question are the "Race to the Top" grants that were conditional on adopting evidence-based standards and assessments geared towards college and career readiness. The grants were not specifically linked to participation in Common Core, so the subsequent adoption of the standards reflects that states found Common Core their best option to achieve these goals, rather than any federal mandate."

We had hoped that Independent Senator King would have had a better grasp of the untested and untried Common Core Package than to resort to pro-core talking points. We agree with the resolution, that education belongs in the hands of states, local governments and parents and that the federal government should not coerce states into adopting uniform standards. Let’s stop playing the semantics game Senator King!

Contact Senator King and the rest of Maine’s Congressional Delegation and tell them you want them to support Senator Graham’s Resolution.