Under the Dome - May 16, 2013
Common Core on Legislative Chopping Block
It appears the Legislature's road to adjournment now includes a Budget proviso prohibiting any state funding for implementation of the Common Core Standards, in fiscal years 2014 and 2015. Many were dismayed by the recommendation, especially since bills aimed at turning back Common Core implementation failed to make it out of either the House or Senate Education committees this session.
The language offered on Thursday specifically prohibits districts spending any state funding on implementation of Common Core Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, or any portions of either.
If the language is inserted, it will be particularly problematic because it will be written into a conference committee report, which cannot be amended on the chambers' floor. Conference committee reports cannot be amended in floor debate, rather they receive a straight up or down vote. Therefore, the best shot at ensuring the Common Core prohibition is not included in the final budget report is to make sure it doesn't get agreed to in conference committee action.
IMMEDIATE ACTION IS NEEDED!
Teachers and parents are encouraged to contact members of the Appropriations/Ways & Means Conference Committee immediately urging them NOT TO ADOPT the language prohibiting Common Core implementation. Members of the conference committee and their contact information are listed below.
You are encouraged, additionally, to contact Senators and Representatives representing your school districts urging them to oppose any effort to de-fund the implementation of the Common Core standards. Explain the investment your districts have already made in implementing the Standards and that they establish rigorous academic expectations in English language arts and mathematics. The Common Core Standards are part of the Kansas College and Career Readiness Standards and define the knowledge and skills all students should master by the end of each grade to be on track for success in college and career.
Senate Ways & Means Conferees:
- Sen. Ty Masterson (R-Andover), chair - email@example.com or 785.296.7388
- Sen. Jim Denning (R-Overland Park), vice-chair - firstname.lastname@example.org or 785.296.7394
- Sen. Laura Kelly (D-Topeka), ranking minority member -email@example.com or 785.296.7365
House Appropriations Conferees:
- Rep. Marc Rhoades (R-Newton), chair - firstname.lastname@example.org or 785.296.7682
- Rep. Gene Suellentrop (R-Wichita), vice-chair - email@example.com or 785.296.7681
- Rep. Kyle Hoffman (R-Clearwater), currently sitting in for Rep. Suellentrop -firstname.lastname@example.org or 785.296.7643
- Rep. Jerry Henry (D-Cummings), ranking minority - email@example.com or 785.296.7688
The next meeting of the Budget Conference Committee is scheduled for 9:00 am on Friday, May 16. Therefore, it is critical that you contact legislators ASAP!