Missouri Judge Rules ‘Smarter Balanced’ Common Core Test Consortium Unconstitutional

AP Photo/Steve Ruark

A county judge has ruled that Missouri’s membership fees to the federally funded Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) is unconstitutional under the Compact Clause of the U.S. Constitution as well as under “state and federal law.”

Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green ruled Tuesday that the interstate consortium that is creating one of the tests aligned with the Common Core standards is an “unlawful interstate compact to which the U.S. Congress has never consented.”

According to the judgment:

The Court finds that the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, a.k.a. Smarter Balanced, Smarter Balanced at UCLA, SBAC, and SB, is an unlawful interstate compact to which the U.S. Congress has never consented, whose existence and operation violate the Compact Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article I, § 10, cl. 3, as well as numerous federal statutes; and that Missouri’s participation in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium as a member is unlawful under state and federal law.

Accordingly, the Court DECLARES that any putative obligations, including the obligation to pay membership fees, of the State of Missouri to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, Smarter Balanced at UCLA, Smarter Balanced, SBAC, SB, the University of California, and/or the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing (collectively, “SBAC”) are illegal and void; DECLARES that no Missouri taxpayer funds may be disbursed to SBAC in the form of membership fees, whether directly or indirectly; and PERMANENTLY ENJOINS Defendants, and each of them, and all those in active concert with them, from taking any action to implement or otherwise effectuate any payment of Missouri funds as membership fees to SBAC, whether directly or indirectly.

As Breitbart News reported last September, parent activists Gretchen Logue and Anne Gassel of the Missouri Coalition Against Common Core joined with former Republican gubernatorial candidate Fred N. Sauer as plaintiffs in the suit against Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) and other state and education officials.

The lawsuit alleged that SBAC is “an unconstitutional interstate compact that was not approved by Congress, in violation of the Compact Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 3, Clause 10,” wrote Gassel at Missouri Education Watchdog, which she co-edits along with Logue. “The suit also alleged that Governor Nixon and Commissioner Nicastro’s course of conduct in committing Missouri to Common Core was in violation of numerous federal and state statutes.”

“According to public records, the [Missouri] Department of Elementary and Secondary Education plans to send millions of dollars of taxpayer funds to the Smarter Balanced consortium in 2015, which will be used to support the implementation of Common Core in numerous other states,” Gassel added. “These payments are illegal under the federal constitution, federal statutes, and Missouri state law.”

“Our lawsuit claims that the two interstate ‘consortia’ that are implementing the Common Core-aligned tests in dozens of states, SBAC and PARCC, are unconstitutional interstate compacts that Congress never authorized,” Logue told Breitbart News in September. “We hope all states that are members of either consortium will realize that they have no legally binding commitments to these illegal entities, and that SBAC and PARCC are legally null and void.”

“We expect the state to appeal this decision which attorney John Sauer looks forward to defending,” wrote Logue at Missouri Education Watchdog.





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