On June 2, the Advocate reported:
One of the few Common Core bills to emerge from the legislative session may be dead on arrival.
The measure, House Bill 953, would add an additional year to state plans to soften Louisiana’s accountability rules during the move to new academic standards.
The legislation won final approval in the Louisiana House on Sunday on a vote of 70-17. It earlier passed the Senate by a lopsided margin.
However, the plan may be vetoed by Gov. Bobby Jindal.
“We have concerns with the bill,” Jindal said in a prepared statement. “We will review it when it gets to our desk.”
Here is the lettr to Alfred Speer, the Clerk of the House of Representatives.
June 13, 2013
The Honorable Alfred Speer Clerk of the House of Representatives State Capitol Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Re: House Bill No. 953 by Representative Walt Leger
Dear Mr. Speer:
House Bill No. 953 would significantly impair parents’ ability to have clear information about the performance of their child’s school and teachers’ ability to have meaningful feedback. The bill sacrifices the important education reforms supported by this Legislature in 2010 and 2012 in order to implement a set of national standards and tests that take away local control and standardize our education system.
Louisiana needs to raise the academic performance of our students so we can compete in the 21st century, but not at the expense of handing away our school system to the federal government through Common Core and PARCC, and sacrificing the important reforms that empower parents to choose the best school for their children.
The opposition to this bill has come from both sides of the Common Core issue. The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, LA Federation for Children, Black Alliance for Educational Options, Stand for Children, Louisiana Association of Charter Schools, and the Council for a Better Louisiana opposed the bill during the Legislative session because it delays reform and deprives our children of high quality teachers, accountable administrators, and clear information about the performance of their schools. Others opposed the bill for enshrining Louisiana’s participation in Common Core and PARCC. The Louisiana School Boards Association, the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, and the Louisiana Association of Educators also opposed the bill during the session. They are joined by countless parents who have requested a veto.
Given the wide spread opposition and the gravity of any decision that affects our children, I have vetoed House Bill No. 953 and hereby return it to the House of Representatives.
Certainly, the governor can use his veto power on any bill and use his executive authority to implement policies he favors; however, given the widespread, diverse public participation in the Common Core debate, we would hope he would honor the ultimate will of the Legislature on this matter.
Indeed, we believe when it comes to Common Core Standards in Louisiana, it’s time to move on.