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Republican Senators bash common core educational standards

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) will introduce a resolution strongly denouncing the Obama Administration’s coercion of states into adopting Common Core State Standards by conferring preferences in federal grants and flexibility waivers.

The resolution is co-sponsored by Senators Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi), Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), and Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming).

Lindset Graham
Lindsey Graham

“The Obama Administration has effectively bribed and coerced states into adopting Common Core,” said Graham.  “Blanket education standards should not be a prerequisite for federal funding.  In order to have a competitive application for some federal grants and flexibility waivers, states have to adopt Common Core.  This is simply not the way the Obama Administration should be handling education policy. Our resolution affirms that education belongs in the hands of our parents, local officials and states.”

“It is crucial that the money being spent on education in Oklahoma be controlled by Oklahomans who are familiar with the needs of our schools and students,” said Inhofe. “This is why I am proud to join Senator Graham in introducing a resolution that enforces vital education practices of leaving the decisions of children’s educational needs to the state and the parents.

“Educational decisions are best made by parents and teachers – not bureaucrats in Washington,” said Scott.  “While Common Core started out as a state-led initiative, the federal government unfortunately decided to use carrots and sticks to coerce states into adopting national standards and assessments. That is simply the wrong choice for our kids.”

Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz

“Common Core is another example of Washington trying to control all aspects of Americans’ lives, including the education of our children,” said Cruz.  “We should not allow the federal government to dictate what our children learn; rather, parents, through their teachers, local schools and state systems, should be able to direct the education of their children.”

“Common Core has become polluted with Federal guidelines and mandates that interfere with the ability of parents, teachers and principals to deliver the education our children deserve,” said Lee.  “Rather than increasing coercion, we should be demanding that further interference by the U.S. Department of Education with respect to state decisions on academic content standards be eliminated.”

Charles Grassley
Charles Grassley

“Decisions about what content students should be taught have enormous consequences for children and so should be made as close as possible to the affected parents and students,” said Grassley.  “Federal interference in this area disrupts the direct line of accountability between parents and those making decisions about their children’s education.  It also takes away needed flexibility from state education leaders to make changes as they learn more about what works and what does not.”

“This Administration favors a national school board approach to education and likes to ignore individual states’ decisions,” said Enzi. “It uses ‘free’ money as the carrot to dangle in front of the states. In effect it is trying to force states into accepting a one-size-fits-all approach. This coercion with Common Core is another example of the federal government trampling on states’ rights and is the wrong approach to fixing our education system in this country.”

The major provisions of the resolution affirm:

•    Education belongs in the hands of parents, local education officials, and states.

•    The federal government should not coerce states into adopting common education standards.

•    No future application process for any federal grant funds or waivers should award additional points, or provide any preference, for the adoption of Common Core.




•    Strongly denounces President Obama’s coercion of states into adopting Common Core by conferring preferences in federal grants and flexibility waivers.
•    Strongly supports the restoration and protection of state authority and flexibility in establishing and defining challenging student academic standards and assessments.


•    Education belongs in the hands of parents, local education officials, and states.
•    The federal government should not coerce states into adopting common education standards.
•    No application process for any federal grant funds or waivers should award additional points, or provide any preference, for the adoption of Common Core.
•    The link between adoption of common education standards and federal funds will result in increased federal control over education.
•    The resolution does not retract any federal funds or waivers already issued to states.
•    The resolution does not evaluate the content of the Common Core standards already developed and adopted by states.


•    “HSLDA strongly opposes the Common Core, in large measure due to the federal government’s use of tax dollars to coerce states into adopting the Common Core. HSLDA applauds Senator Graham for this powerful resolution pushing back against the notion that Washington, DC should use taxpayer dollars to pressure states into adopting specific education policy. Parents, teachers, and local school districts, not education bureaucrats in Washington, DC, should be in charge of the critical decisions of what, when, and how children learn. The success of homeschooling shows that greater freedom and less top-down control helps lead to academic success.”
— J. Michael Smith, Esq., President, Home School Legal Defense Association

•    “We appreciate Senator Graham’s leadership in pushing back against Common Core.  For four years, the federal administration has flouted the rule of law and imposed tens of billions of dollars in mandates on states and localities.  These actions have earned opposition from across the political spectrum and across the country.  This Senate resolution marks the first important step taken in Congress to hold the Administration accountable and to preserve innovation in our states and localities.”
–    Jim Stergios, Executive Director, Pioneer Institute

•    “Yet again, we see another attempt to weaken the power of the states by a federal power grab.  Look to the experts, those who actually teach and know our nations’ kids; three-hundred prominent educators and policy-makers warn about Common Core discouraging innovation.”
— Penny Nance, CEO & President of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee

•    “Common Core is doing for education what ObamaCare is doing for health care.”
— Director of Beverly LaHaye Institute (BLI), Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse


American Association of Christian Schools
Family Research Council
Eagle Forum
American Principles Project

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