Education
6:35 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

State Legislature could vote to reinstate Common Core funding soon

State lawmakers have been debating the Common Core State Standards for months. The nationwide school standards lay out specific things that students should know after each grade level. The goal is to set expectations for students no matter where they live in the United States.

But opponents say Common Core would strip local control of school curriculum and could compromise the security of students’ personal information through data collection.

Now, the state House Education Committee is set to take up House Concurrent Resolution 11 Thursday morning.

HCR 11 would reverse a provision in the Fiscal Year 2014 state budget that bars the Michigan Department of Education from spending money to implement the standards.

State Rep. Tim Kelly (R-Saginaw Twp.) introduced the resolution Wednesday. He chaired a House panel that looked into the issue over the summer.

He says opponents of the Common Core have had plenty of opportunities to voice their concerns, and it’s now time to move on.

“This is ‘Whac-A-Mole’ for a lot of this,” Kelly told reporters Wednesday afternoon.

“Every time there’s some sort of issue that’s come up, we’ve deflated it, and another one pops up.”

Kelly’s resolution includes a number of conditions meant to appease Common Core opponents. Among other things, the standards could not dictate curriculum and students’ personal information could not be shared with the federal government.

“Who outside of the extreme-anti- group wouldn’t sign onto this?” said Kelly. “We’ve got caveat after caveat after caveat, concern after concern that’s addressed!”

Rep. Tom McMillin (R-Rochester Hills) has led the charge against Common Core in Lansing. He says the conditions in the resolution are “a starting point.”

“We ought to be explicit with that,” McMillin said, “because I think the locals need to understand that there’s some flexibility there if the standards are bad.”

If the House Education Committee approves the measure Thursday morning, it could come up for a vote in the full House as early as Thursday afternoon.

NOTE: The full text of HCR 11 can be found at http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2013-2014/concurrentresolutionintroduced/House/pdf/2013-HICR-0011.pdf