Thursday, May 16, 2013

State Budget Could Block Spending on Common Core

A proposal to block the State Board of Education and local school districts from spending any general fund state aid or special revenue funds over the next two years to implement to Common Core academic standards, the Next Generation Science Standards or any assessment affiliated with the Common Core was proposed late Thursday afternoon in the conference committee on the state budget.

The proposal was offered by the Senate conferees and was received without discussion during the 5:30 p.m. round of negotiations.  The committee is expected to meet again Friday morning at 9 a.m. and may continue meeting throughout the day in an effort to the resolve differences between the House and Senate budget plans.  At this point, neither chamber’s budget contains the language in the proposed “proviso,” which has not been considered on the floor of either the House or Senate.

Opposition to the Common Core has been increasing in Kansas and nationally in recent months.  KASB testified against a bill with similar language, HB 2289, in the House Education Committee during the regular session.  After extensive discussion and debate, a majority of the committee opposed reporting the bill to the full House.  On Tuesday of this week, KASB presented a statement to the State Board of Education supporting the Common Core as part of the state’s waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind Act.  However, a number of individuals spoke against the new standards and proposed assessments.  

If the budget proviso is accepted by the House conferees and included in the conference committee report on the budget, the entire budget package will go to the House and Senate for an up or down vote, without amendment.  In that case, the only way to remove the proviso would be to defeat the entire budget in either house, sending a message that the conference committee should remove it from the budget.
This is the actual document:

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