Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) of Louisiana said he will file a lawsuit against the Obama administration, accusing it of illegally manipulating states with federal grant money and regulations that forced them to adopt the Common Core standards.
According to the Associated Press, Jindal will argue that the U.S. Department of Education, under Secretary Arne Duncan, used a $4.3 billion grant program known as Race to the Top (RttT) and federal policy waivers to lure states into adopting uniform “college and career ready” education standards and testing. Jindal said the action forced “states down a path toward a national curriculum” in violation of the Tenth Amendment and federal laws that bar national control of curriculum.
The Obama administration championed the standards, urging states to sign onto them as part of the application process for the RttT competitive grant program. In addition, two multi-state testing consortia – the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) – received $330 million from the grant program to develop the standardized tests aligned with the Common Core standards.
“The federal government has hijacked and destroyed the Common Core initiative,” Jindal said in a statement. “Common Core is the latest effort by big government disciples to strip away state rights and put Washington, D.C., in control of everything.”
“Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Education has made changes to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act state test review and approval process that will coerce states to adopt the federal government’s preferred tests or risk billions in federal funding,” his office added, according to Politico.
Louisiana received over $17 million from President Obama’s RttT stimulus program and joined the PARCC consortium. Additionally, the state received a waiver from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) restrictions in exchange for adopting the nationalized standards.