An Illinois House resolution to delay the Common Core Learning Standards has been placed in legislative purgatory, stalling efforts to distance the state from the federally imposed standards. But anti-Common Core forces are growing.
The Democrat-controlled state is one of 48 states that signed onto Common Core in 2010, but now some legislators are responding to opposition from parents and teachers, and some movement away from Common Core is afoot in the state.
Not enough pressure has yet come to bear, however, as the latest move to begin to distance the Land of Lincoln from Common Core has been shoved aside, having been sent to a subcommittee for further study–a move that usually signals that a committee chair wants an issue killed.
State Representative Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) introduced House Resolution 543, which says, in part, “We urge State Superintendent Koch and the State Board of Education to delay the implementation of the Common Core.”
The resolution objects to Common Core chiefly over the unfunded mandate of the statewide testing scheme. It notes that neither the state nor the Board of Education has obtained the money to fund the massive retooling that schools would need to satisfy Common Core requirements.
Kay’s resolution demands that the state and Board of Education conduct a study and develop a plan to fund the standards before Common Core’s implementation. It is estimated that the standards will cost the state upwards of $773 million to implement.
But the Democrat chairperson of the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee, Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora), has ditched the resolution into a subcommittee, hoping it will die. The fourteen-member committee is made up of eight Democrats and six Republicans.
Two things are noteworthy. First, this is only a resolution, not a law. Second, it is not necessarily calling for the end of Common Core; it is just a delaying tactic to give opponents more time to mount their opposition to the standards.
Still, Rep. Kay is not a lone supporter of this resolution. He has a few Democrats who signed on with him to delay Common Core because the scheme is an unfunded mandate that the state can little afford.
Even as the House resolution was shuffled off to a subcommittee in hopes that it would die, Common Core detractors mounted a surprise attack on the issue, causing the committee members to take note.
As Illinois Review reports, “Stop Common Core Illinois worked with Kay to get 1003 witness slips filed in support of Kay’s resolution, while 93 filed opposing the effort.”
A witness slip is a signed notice indicating who supports any particular bill or resolution being debated in Springfield. It helps legislators see what sort of support or opposition there is for an issue. The anti-Common Core folks were able to rally more support to delay Common Core than the statists who support the standards raised. This surprised the committee members and put them on notice that parents who oppose this federal takeover of education are not to be ignored.
“We only had about 24 hours and the witness slip is confusing to fill out. Believe me, the committee noticed that we got all those signatures. They were counting on nobody even knowing about the hearing. We put them on notice that this IS a BIG problem,” Erin Raasch of the Stop Common Core Illinois Facebook Page told Illinois Review.
A similar resolution of delay was introduced in the Illinois Senate by Senator Kyle McCarter.