The Bluegrass State has introduced HB215, a House Bill that would stifle the implementation of Common Core Standards and emphasize Kentucky’s rightful role of creating and implementing its own education standards for the state.

The bill makes it known that the law would “prohibit the Kentucky Board of Education and the Kentucky Department of Education from implementing the English language arts and mathematics academic content standards developed by the Common Core Standards Initiative.” The bill was introduced by Representative Tom Kerr on January 15th. The proposal closely resembles similar bills that were recently introduced in Indiana and Ohio.

The bill’s summary notes that passage of the law would have the following affect:

“require the state board to recommend new content standards to school districts and schools after consultation with the Council on Postsecondary Education; require public involvement in standards development; clarify the authority of the local board of education to adopt standards which differ from or exceed the standards approved by the state board; clarify that the school-based decision making councils shall develop policies based upon the standards adopted by the local boards of education”

Most importantly, the bill would ensure that state officials would be prevented from “ceding control of education content standards and assessments.” This text plainly illustrates that Kentucky would utilize its own curriculum, school boards, and standards. Clearly, passage of the law would confirm Kentucky’s will to take the reins when it comes to education within the state.

Kentucky introduced the Common Core Standards Initiative in 2010. Since then, it has been extremely controversial for numerous reasons, including the propensity to override state education standards with federal mandates. The bill is currently in the House Education Committee.

Consistent with the doctrine of anti-commandeering (classified by Printz v. United States, 1997, HB215 would prevent a federal takeover of education and reassert Kentucky’s sovereign interests over its own education policy. Through the anti-commandeering principle, Kentucky does not have to comply with any federal mandate on education.

Dave Benner

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