Common Core Fight Holds Up Michigan Education Budget

Below is an excerpt from a Michigan Information and Research Service report (subscription-based) last night.

A conference committee was originally scheduled to meet at 8:45 a.m. this morning to consider the MDE budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. But by the end of the day, Sen. Howard WALKER (R-Traverse City) reported that the meeting has now been pushed back to next week.

The reason for the delay, confirmed Rep. Bill ROGERS (R-Brighton), is Common Core, a set of education standards developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Asked if it was fair to say Common Core was the reason that discussions on the MDE budget are ongoing, Rogers responded, “That’s not even fair. It is. It is a discussion over the Common Core issue.”

He added, “There’s still a lot of questions in regard to Common Core.”

States were supposed to voluntarily adopt the Common Core standards. And the Michigan State Board of Education did so for English-language arts and mathematics in 2010.

While the standards are in the process of being implemented in the Michigan, some Republican lawmakers want to stop the implementation — or at least slow it down.

They see Common Core as an outside interference in Michigan’s education system.

The House and Senate both added language to their budget plans on Common Core. The House plan banned the MDE from spending a dime on implementing the Common Core State Standards. In the Senate, the budget language said funds “shall not be used for development of the Common Core State Standards.”

There is a lot of pressure on the conference committee to strip out any Common Core language in the bill.  Liaisons from Governor Rick Snyder (who supports the Common Core) promised they will address it later.

Right.  Stand firm and keep the language in as both the Michigan House and Senate members voted for it.   Would Governor Snyder really veto the entire education budget bill over this?  Governor Snyder said that the Common Core came from Governors, not the federal government… actually it came from the governors association.  Governors didn’t have a direct hand in crafting this.  Besides the Governors should have run this by their Legislatures first anyway.  Why should the Michigan Legislature vote to fund something they have not had a chance to vet?