Legislative Attempts to Derail Common Core Fall Short in Kansas

kansas-flag-mapThere was a flurry of activity in the Kansas Legislature at the end of their session to address the Common Core.   Unfortunately all attempts fell short.  There  was a proviso added to the education budget that would have defunded the implementation of the standards.  Unfortunately that was removed.  Former Kansas State Board of Education member, Dr. Walt Chappell, explained why in an email.  “The budget Proviso would have stopped the CCS.  Unfortunately, one lady in the Reviser’s office mistakenly through it would be unconstitutional to include the CCS Proviso.   After the Proviso was pulled from the Conference Committee, she corrected herself,” Chappell said.

Then the Senate passed their subsitute for HB 2391 by a 24-12 vote on Friday.  This bill if it became law would have prevented the funding of the Next Generation State Standards and create a joint committee to study the Common Core State Standards (as well any other uniform standards) as well as their fiscal impact.  It would not have halted the funding of the Common Core Math and ELA standards since they were adopted prior to the first day of the 2013 legislative session.

The Kansas House failed to pass this bill on a 53-58 vote.

Here is the roll call of the vote below provided by Kristin George of Kansans Against Common Core:

Yeas 55; Nays 58; Present but not voting: 0; Absent or not voting: 12.

Yeas: Bradford, Brunk, Couture-Lovelady, Campbell, Carlson, Carpenter, Claeys, Corbet, Crum, DeGraaf, Dove, Edmonds, Edwards, Esau, Gandhi, Garber, Goico, Grosserode, Hawkins, Hedke, Hermanson, Highland, Hildabrand, Hoffman, Houser, Howell, Huebert, Hutton, Jones, Kelley, Kinzer, Kleeb, Lunn, Macheers, Mast, McPherson, Meigs, Merrick, O’Brien, Osterman, Peck, Powell, Read, Rhoades, Rothlisberg, Rubin, Ryckman Jr., Schwab, Shultz, Siegfreid, Suellentrop, Sutton, Thimesch, Todd, Vickrey.

Nays: Alcala, Alford, Ballard, Becker, Bideau, Boldra, Bollier, Burroughs, Carlin, Cassidy, Christmann, Clayton, Concannon, Davis, Dierks, Dillmore, Doll, Ewy, Finch, Finney, Gonzalez, Grant, Henry, Hibbard, Hill, Hineman, Jennings, Johnson, Kelly, Kuether, Lusk, Meier, Menghini, Moxley, Pauls, Perry, Petty, Phillips, Proehl, Rooker, Ruiz, Ryckman Sr., Sawyer, Schroeder, Schwartz, Seiwert, Sloan, Sloop, Swanson, Tietze, Trimmer, Victors, Ward, Waymaster, Weber, Weigel, Whipple, Winn.

Present but not voting: None.

Absent or not voting: Barker, Bridges, Bruchman, Frownfelter, Henderson, Houston, Kahrs, Lane, Montgomery, Peterson, Wilson, Wolfe Moore.

While we don’t know how those absent would have voted those additional 12 votes could have made a difference.

Chappell said, the proviso would have been much stronger, that this bill would not have ultimately stopped the Common Core from being implemented.  He did say it would have prevented the Kansas State Board of Education from adopting the Next Generation Science Standards.  “So even if this watered down bill had passed, it would not have returned our schools to Kansas parents and local school boards,” Chappell said.

He’s right.  While pause bills are helpful in helping slow the implementation; repeal or defunding bills are what state legislatures need to pass.  Also there is one person in Kansas who could put the implementation on hold since the Kansas Legislature never approved the Common Core – Governor San Brownback.  He could make a difference.  The question now is will he?