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Letter to the Editor: Losing Local Control of Education


Florida Senator John Legg (R-Dist 17) who represents part of Hillsborough and part of Pasco Counties tried to portray Common Core as constitutional and promoting state sovereignty; nothing could be further from the truth. Here are some reasons why:

The State of Florida “voluntarily” adopted the Common Core standards because it was the only way they could compete for desperately needed funds as part of the Race to the Top program, which was merely an earmark in the huge Stimulus bill never debated or discussed in Congress. It seems that while having to submit to the federal directive in competing to receive Florida taxpayer funds, is neither voluntary nor in line with the 10th amendment process.

The decision to apply for Race to the Top and to accept Common Core was very well timed because most of our legislatures were not in session. The way Florida got around it was to appoint bureaucrats instead of elected legislators or school board members to make the decision. This is not what one would call “local control.”

The appointed Florida State Board of Education adopted the standards without holding any explanatory public hearings and without consulting the elected legislatures or school board members. Elected school boards are being forced to implement this program without time to find the funds to maintain an over the top cost.

These are legal and constitutional issues. Since the U.S. Constitution is silent on this matter of education under the 10th Amendment, it is a power that is reserved to the states and the people of that state. Plus there are three laws that prohibit the federal government from being involved in standards, curriculum, and testing.

In the Federal Department of Education Organization Act, we will highlight some of the intentions of Congress in the establishment of this Department. It was to protect the rights of the State, local government, public and private educational institution in the areas of educational policies and administration of programs. It goes on to say education shall not increase the authority of the Federal Government or diminish the authority for education which is reserved to the States and the local school system.

Sources: Education Liberty Watch, Heartland Research, and Florida Stop Common Core Coalition


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