Judge Denies Louisiana Lawmakers' Request for Temporary Block to Common Core

Judge Denies Louisiana Lawmakers' Request for Temporary Block to Common Core

A Louisiana state district judge rejected a request from 17 state lawmakers to block the continuing implementation of the Common Core standards.

Referring to the Common Core standards as a “political hot button,” Judge Tim Kelley said Friday, during the preliminary injunction hearing, that the lawmakers failed to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits of their lawsuit filed against the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) and the state Department of Education.

As Breitbart News reported last month, the lawmakers’ suit claims that both BESE and the state Department of Education failed to follow the state’s Administrative Procedures Act (APA) for implementing the Common Core standards.

The APA requires public notice, a 90-day comment period, and legislative oversight be provided prior to changes made to education standards in the state, but the lawmakers say these requirements were not met in the case of the Common Core standards.

“Unless an injunction issues herein by the Court, needless time and resources will be expended in the teaching, testing, learning, and financing of Common Core, all to the detriment of the citizens of Louisiana,” the lawsuit states.

The Advocate reports that Kelley, after hearing arguments from attorneys from both sides as well as Superintendent of Education John White and BESE president Chas Roemer, denied the lawmakers’ request for a preliminary injunction, though he added they have the right to ask that the implementation of Common Core in the state be permanently enjoined.

“We’re going to discuss that,” said state Rep. Brett Geymann (R), one of the plaintiffs in the lawmakers’ lawsuit and a leader among those legislators who are opposed to the Common Core standards.

“We still believe the democratic process was denied to the citizens of this state in the implementation and adoption of Common Core,” said Geymann in a statement to Breitbart News. “There is a process in place for a reason and it must be followed. Big business elites have their hand on the control button and don’t want to lose but we will not give up the fight for our children.”

“The law clearly states they should have had an open and transparent process with opportunity for public comment in adopting new standards just as they have done in the past,” he asserted. “This is truly a battle for the next generation and one worthy of fighting.”

According to the Advocate, both White and Roemer emphasized to reporters that the law is on their side.

“Today’s ruling allows teachers and students to continue raising expectations in Louisiana,” White said. “Our students are just as smart and capable as any in America. We’ve been working for four years to teach them to the highest standards in our country. Today’s ruling continues that progress.”

Barry Erwin, president of Council for A Better Louisiana, an ardent supporter of the Common Core standards, attended Friday’s hearing and referred to Kelley’s ruling as “very strong and unequivocal.”

“Even though this was only one ruling in one case, it’s good news for the parents, teachers and students of Louisiana who now know that this effort by a small group of legislators who oppose the higher academic standards in place in our schools will not disrupt the education of our children,” Erwin said.

The lawsuit is one of three in the state that revolve around the Common Core standards.

On Wednesday, Judge Todd Hernandez ruled that Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) and some of his top administration officials cannot be deposed by attorneys prior to going to court in a lawsuit brought against them by a group of parents and teachers who are funded by the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO). This suit claims that Jindal is illegally trying to remove the state from the Common Core standards and their aligned assessments.

As reported in thetowntalk.com, however, Hernandez denied a request to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that the plaintiffs had no standing in the case. The Jindal administration’s attorneys argued that the plaintiffs were not party to the blocked contract with the PARCC Common Core test consortium, and, therefore, should not be allowed to sue over blocking it.

“The plaintiffs have a right and cause of action to seek judicial review and seek restraint against the defendants in this issue,” Hernandez wrote in his ruling. “The plaintiffs have alleged in their lawsuit against the defendants that they have transcended their lawful powers under the Louisiana Constitution and that their conduct has violated their lawful duties.

Hernandez will hear a preliminary injunction hearing in that case on Monday, when he will be asked to block Jindal’s executive order that exits Louisiana from the Common Core standards and assessments.

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