Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

COMMON CORE ; State School Board Seeks Lawsuit Dismissal

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

COMMON CORE ; State School Board Seeks Lawsuit Dismissal

Article excerpt

In a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against the West Virginia Board of Education, attorneys representing the state's chief school policymakers say one Republican's attempts to shutter the use of Common Core standards is nothing more than a political campaign. The Charleston-based law firm Bailey and Glasser is asking the state Supreme Court of Appeals to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Delegate Michael Folk, R-Berkeley, who alleges the school board's use of Common Core, a set of math and English standards adopted by 46 states, violates state law and the U.S. Constitution.

The motion calls for dismissal because Folk did not notify the school board or Department of Education officials he would be suing them. State code requires a complaining party to contact a state agency's chief officer at least 30 days before filing a suit. It also states the petition presents a policy argument the court cannot and should not take up, and that Folk ignores the school board's constitutional authority to enact education policy free from legislative interference.

But Folk, a member of the Legislature's Liberty Caucus, says the board using the standards, which in West Virginia are called the Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives, has entered the state into an illegal interstate compact. Any agreement between two or more states must first be approved by Congress.

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 voluntarily withdrew that complaint in June before filing the second at the end of July.

In his lawsuits, Folk also claims the school board's adoption and use of Common Core and its aligned student assessments has "usurped the separation of powers and authority of the West Virginia Legislature, the motion to dismiss says. …

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