As opposition continues to mount against an Obama-backed scheme known as “Common Core” to standardize education across America, lawmakers and activists determined to stop the radical agenda are turning up the heat. In Congress, senators and representatives are taking action. State lawmakers are too. Among the grassroots, meanwhile, advocates for educational freedom are hosting gatherings in numerous states while planning another online “Twitter Rally” on May 2 to stop Common Core before it is rolled out nationwide.
Over 45 state governments have already agreed to adopt the extremely controversial program in exchange for taxpayer-funded “Race to the Top” bribes and “No Child Left Behind” waivers offered by the Obama administration. However, as awareness of the scheme grows, opposition is surging, too. Just last month the Republican National Committee (RNC) unanimously adopted a resolution slamming Common Core as “an inappropriate overreach to standardize and control the education of our children.” GOP lawmakers at the state and federal level took notice as public pressure to stop the agenda balloons.
In the U.S. Senate, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) has been leading the opposition so far. Shortly after the Republican Party adopted its pro-educational freedom resolution blasting Common Core, Grassley began circulating a letter among his colleagues calling for a prohibition on the Department of Education’s controversial bribes to state governments that accept Common Core. If approved, the measure would also stop federal funding of the nominally private entities working to develop the widely criticized national standards.
The Grassley letter, dated April 26, was sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Education Subcommittee leadership. It was signed by eight other senators: Mike Lee (R-Utah), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas). In the document, the coalition of senators asked that an amendment be added to the next appropriations bill funding the Department Education to restore state decision-making and accountability on academic standards.
“The decision about what students should be taught and when it should be taught has enormous consequences for our children," the senators wrote. “Therefore, parents ought to have a straight line of accountability to those who are making the decisions. State legislatures, which are directly accountable to the citizens of their states, are the appropriate place for those decisions to be made, free from any pressure from the U.S. Department of Education.”
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