The Missouri Legislature is very close to bringing the power back to the people when it comes to education policy in the state. According to EAGNews.org, both chambers have passed a bill that would end Common Core in The Show Me State. Now, all that stands in the way of sending the bill to the governor for signature is one final committee approval.
House Bill 1490 (HB1490) passed through the state senate on May 1 by a 24-8 margin. It had previously passed the house by a 132-19 vote. Since the Senate version differed from the House version, the House had an opportunity to accept the amendments offered by the Senate, but refused. That sends the bill to a joint conference committee, with members of both chambers, to work out the differences in the bill and finalized the version going to the governor.
A spokesman for Rep. Bahr, the bill’s chief sponsor, said, “The conference was requested by the floor leader since the house passed a four page bill and the senate sent back a 44 page version. He did not feel like there would be enough time for all 150 house reps to pour over all of the new information in the bill to pass it speedily and also doing their duty.”
The amendments do not stop the bill from taking important steps to re-establish local control of education and end involvement with Common Core in the state. HB1490 states that “[each] local school board shall be responsible for the approval and adoption of curriculum used by the school district.” It also would sanction “work groups composed of education professionals to develop and recommend academic performance standards” which would ultimately be used to replace Common Core by the 2016-2017 school year.
“The goal is to give the schools that have invested a lot of time preparing for what Governor Nixon obligated them to a graceful way out, while stopping CC in the long run,” Missouri First’s Ron Calzone said.
Missouri is leading the resistance to Common Core, unlike other states such as Indiana, which passed a bill to “opt-out” of the Core, while implementing a state requirement to use virtually the same federal standards in order to continue receiving federal funding. Largely unbeknownst to the American public, Common Core gives the feds the power to collect all kinds of data from children including Social Security numbers, blood type, records of school attendance, supposed learning disabilities, religious affiliation, disciplinary records, parents’ income information. The curriculum also eschews classic literature in favor of drab, government technical manuals.
Let’s hope other states will follow Missouri’s lead sooner rather than later.