Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

COMMON CORE CONTROVERSY ; Official Files Another Lawsuit

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

COMMON CORE CONTROVERSY ; Official Files Another Lawsuit

Article excerpt

Republican legislators are once again attempting to block the use of Common Core education standards in West Virginia, this time asking the state Supreme Court to decide if the Board of Education can legally enter the state into what they're calling an "interstate compact. On Friday, Delegate Michael Folk, R-Berkeley, petitioned the Supreme Court to weigh in on the issue, alleging West Virginia's use of the standards violates state law and the U.S. Constitution, which requires congressional approval of any agreement between two or more states. Common Core has been adopted by 46 states.

Folk filed a similar lawsuit earlier this year in Berkeley County Circuit Court, in which he named Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and state Superintendent Michael Martirano, among others, as defendants. That lawsuit was deemed "procedurally deficient and substantively ill- conceived by one of Tomblin's attorneys.

Folk seeks a writ of mandamus that will prevent use of the standards and halt funding of the Smarter Balanced Assessment, an end-of-year Common Core-aligned student test.

He did not respond to the Gazette-Mail's request for comment Tuesday, but Delegate Patrick Lane, R-Kanawha, who is serving as counsel for the lawsuit, said they want the higher court to make a ruling before the end of the year.

"We're hopeful this will be resolved quickly and clearly so the Legislature will have an opportunity to take their decision into account and deal with it when we go into session in January, he said.

During the 2015 legislative session, both Senate and House Republicans attempted to pass bills that would have made it illegal for the state Department of Education to continue using the standards. While a bill backed by House Education Chairwoman Amanda Pasdon, R-Monongalia, gained support in both chambers, its immediate repeal of the standards was downgraded to a review before it ultimately failed in a conference committee on the last day of the session.

Republicans have said repeal of the standards is part of their 2016 legislative agenda. Senate President Bill Cole, R-Mercer, has told the Gazette-Mail it will also be part of his gubernatorial campaign. …

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