From the start, the Common Core repeal bill HB 597 was put behind the eight ball. Shortly after it passed out of committee, Rep. Matt Huffman, speaker pro tempore and one of the bill’s sponsors, told the Cincinnati Enquirer,
“If we don’t think we have the votes to pass it, we won’t bring it to the floor.”
At that point, the bar had been set and the message to all fence-sitting House Republicans was: Sit tight. This too will blow over.
You see, Ohio parents who are concerned about Common Core did their job. Legislators in Columbus are well aware of grassroots opposition to the direction education has taken in the Buckeye State. Legislators know that parents do not like the nonsensical homework assignments, the de-emphasis on classic literature, the dramatic increase in standardized testing, the data tracking and sharing, and most of all – parents do not like not being able to do anything about it – the lack of local control.
But Republican legislators also know that Governor Kasich does not want Common Core repealed. His administration’s decision to move forward with Common Core implementation has led to the considerable expenditure of taxpayer dollars at every level of government – far more than the $400 million in federal Race to the Top grants “awarded” to Ohio. Backing out now is akin to admitting that this irresponsible allocation of public treasure was foolhardy.
So what to do?
Get Common Core repeal out of its dead-end track in the House Education Committee. Put a repeal bill through the Rules and Reference Committee, shift out some committee members, and expedite the bill for the lame-duck session. Give the people a little bit of what they want, but never let Common Core repeal see a floor vote.
Repeal is 10 votes short and it will continue to be as long as Republicans in the Ohio House can escape accountability by not having to face an up or down vote.
Common Core repeal is being held hostage by a powerful Executive in Governor Kasich and a Legislative Branch willing to take a back seat by dodging the responsibility afforded it by the separation of powers.
Instead of calling state reps and telling them to support Common Core repeal, perhaps the people of Ohio should call Speaker Batchelder and ask him to restore representative government in Ohio.
Tell Speaker Batchelder to bring HB 597 to a floor vote so the people of Ohio can truly see where their representatives stand on Common Core. Do the Republicans in the state legislature believe in local control of schools, or are they willing to let the children of Ohio be used as pawns by outside interests?
Speaker Bill Batchelder: 614-466-8140
Email Speaker Batchelder HERE.