The Arizona Senate rejected a bill Monday that would have abolished the controversial Common Core standards in that state. Some Republicans joined with Democrats to defeat the bill, 16-13, a fact that underscores that while Democrats could be expected to vote in favor of keeping a federally-funded initiative like the Common Core, the worst enemy of the conservative base of the GOP is actually other Republicans.
As the Associated Press notes, repeal measure HB 2190 earlier passed the Arizona state House and the Senate Education committee, but the full Senate rejected the bill as it did a similar proposal last month and yet another last year.
The legislation, which was introduced in the Arizona House by Rep. Mark Finchem (R), would have abolished Common Core, created a new committee to evaluate alternative standards, and banned the state Board of Education from adopting new standards without the approval of the legislature.
The four Republicans who voted against the repeal of the standards are state Sens. Adam Driggs, Bob Worsley, Steve Pierce and Jeff Dial. AP reports that, despite urging from fellow Republicans to reconsider their vote, these members made no comment as they voted to reject the measure.
Breitbart News reported Monday that the Senate’s rejection of the bill is not surprising since Arizona’s Republican Gov. Doug Ducey was not supportive of it, going as far as to call it “unnecessary” since it is his hope the Common Core standards can be “fixed” in his state.
Ducey ran last year for governor as a candidate opposed to the nationalized education initiative. Just five months later, however, he is telling a different story.
“I don’t think that legislation is necessary because we’re going to fix what’s wrong with these standards,” the governor said, referring to the Common Core as a “distraction.”
In a statement to Breitbart News prior to the vote, chairman of Arizona’s Senate Education Committee Sen. Kelli Ward (R) said she feared HB 2190 would fail on the Senate floor because of a group of pro-Common Core Republicans who are supporters of big government, amnesty and the Chamber of Commerce.
Ward, who is considering a primary run against U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), has staunchly opposed the Common Core standards.
“I believe that the Common Core standards are an egregious example of federal overreach into a clearly state issue – education,” she said. “I have been fighting against the federalization of our education system since I got to the legislature.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its affiliates in the states, in fact, have strongly lobbied in favor of the Common Core standards as part of a workforce development scheme to ensure government will provide big business with a steady stream of inexpensive labor. The data collection associated with the Common Core testing will be used to channel students into certain jobs and industries, creating a form of planned economy. Many establishment Republicans have signed onto Common Core in the hope of Chamber contributions to their political campaigns.
As Breitbart News’ Dan Riehl reported Monday, strong resistance by grassroots conservatives has led the Chamber to boost its political strategy to “include a greater emphasis on recruiting the right sort of business-friendly GOP candidates and intervening in primaries as it attempts to sculpt a compliant Congress that mirrors its priorities.”
Thomas Donohue, the Chamber’s longtime president and CEO, said last month that his organization will be applying political pressure around the clock.
“We’re just going to run it 24 months in a row, cycle after cycle after cycle,” he said.
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, who won her election last November primarily running on an anti-Common Core platform, noted Ducey’s shift in position on the standards since he became governor.
“Despite Gov. Ducey also running against Common Core, he has unfortunately reversed that position, interfering with the removal of two pro-Common Core staff, publicly stating that now is not the time to remove Common Core, and instead asking the Board of Education to review the standards,” she said in a statement to Breitbart News.
Douglas summed up the frustration of anti-Common Core grassroots Republicans who have been deceived and thwarted by members of the establishment GOP.
“I cannot fully express my frustration with a majority Republican House and Senate and a Governor who ran as ‘anti-Common Core’ who have so far refused to act and have in fact, in the case of the Governor, acted to so exactly the opposite,” Douglas said.
With news of the defeat of the Common Core repeal measure, Douglas told Breitbart News, “I am disappointed. SB 2190 is an effort that I fully support because it puts additional pressure on the Board of Education to listen to the will of the people.”
“As the public weighs in around the state, I still believe it will create sufficient momentum for the Board to have to improve the standards,” she added.