House Republicans have a new legislative priority: preventing the Obama administration from promoting uniform education standards across the country.
House Republicans have introduced a bill and a resolution that focus on Common Core, a set of standards that the GOP says has been hijacked by the Obama administration.
This month, more than 40 Republicans got behind a resolution from Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) that says the government should get out of the business of creating financial incentives for states to meet these standards.
"The Washington-knows-best approach has repeatedly failed the very children it proposes to help," Duncan said about his resolution, H.Res. 476. "It's time to roll back Common Core and return education to the people who it matters most to — children, parents, and teachers."
That resolution followed binding legislation introduced by Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.). His Educational Freedom Act, H.R. 4008, would require the government to stop using grants to control local academic standards.
"We can't continue to allow the Obama Administration to strong-arm our state into accepting its one-size-fits-all education plan," said Gingrey. "Conditioning federal funding from the Race to the Top Fund and No Child Left Behind waivers is nothing more than a political tactic to let federal bureaucrats into schools with the intention of establishing a federal curriculum."
Gingrey's bill was introduced with three co-sponsors: Duncan and Reps. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.). Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) added his name to the bill over the long weekend.
"Nothing in the Constitution gives the federal government a role in education," he said. "There is a role for government in education, but that role is at the state and local level.
"This was a classic example of the federal government taking over rights and responsibilities through the lure of federal funds," he added.
The House passed a bill last year, the Student Success Act, which would prohibit the administration from offering Common Core incentives to states. That bill would also unwind some of the provisions of the No Child Left Behind law, which many Republicans see as giving the federal government too much control over states.
But while that bill passed 221-207, the Senate has ignored the House bill, and has not taken up its own proposals for education reform.