Kansas Anti-Common Core Bill Defeated in Committee

kansas-state-capitol-domeLast week the Kansas House Committee on Education voted down HB 2289 on an 11-7 vote.  The Kansas Legislature website does not give the vote count.  I have called State Representative John Bradford’s office (he sponsored the bill) to request that information.  They are currently on a four-day recess for Easter.

The Topeka Capitol-Journal gives us some idea of who voted in favor of the bill.

The committee’s chairwoman, Rep. Kasha Kelley, R-Arkansas City, and Rep. Shanti Gandhi, R-Topeka, were among the seven votes in favor of the bill to ban the set of math and English standards that the Kansas State Board of Education adopted in 2010.

The standards, called the Common Core, are being used in more than 40 states and have been one of the committee’s key topics this session.

The measure failed in an 11-7 vote with one abstention.

Rep. John Bradford, R-Lansing, introduced the bill and made a final plea for support before the vote, telling the committee that the issue was straightforward.

“I would just remind everybody that House Bill 2289 was about money,” he said. “The basic question was, are we going to spend the money?”

There was an amendment offered which would have watered down the bill and it was still defeated.

The amendment, introduced by Rep. Dennis Hedke, R-Wichita, and supported by Bradford, included several points and would have kept current Common Core standards in place, while banning adoption of future standards produced by the Common Core consortium.

But the committee voted down the amendment, with some saying it would have made the bill pointless.

The amendment also would have banned Kansas from sending “personally identifiable data” about students to any public entity outside of Kansas.

I certainly wouldn’t have been happy with the bill if the amendment passed and the bill approved, but I wouldn’t say it would have been pointless.  Currently social studies standards are being developed.  I haven’t seen the exact language, but it could have impacted Next Generation Science Standards as well.  Also protecting student data is important so while it wouldn’t be ideal it is better than the status quo.  No matter.

I will keep you up to date with information of who exactly voted against this bill.  They must be held accountable.

Photo Credit: Edward Stojakovic via Flickr (CC-By-2.0)