Indiana pauses Common Core. Now what?

Indiana has put Common Core on hold for a year.

And what happens there next is, well, anybody’s guess.

Here’s an excerpt of an article from StateImpact Indiana:

“According to the bill Gov. Mike Pence signed into law last week, the State Board of Education can take no further action to implement the Common Core State Standards. Yet the legislation also leaves any standards adopted before May 15, 2013 in place.

“Proponents of the new standards argue pausing implementation of the Common Core will leave teachers unsure what to teach next year. But the bill’s statehouse advocate disagrees.

“’I don’t know how stopping and taking another look at this in any way is worse than moving forward with something we think is bad,’ says Sen. Scott Schneider, R-Indianapolis.”

Indiana’s legislative limbo should sound familiar to anybody who watched the 2013 Idaho Legislature. In the wake of the repeal of Propositions 1, 2 and 3, lawmakers spent considerable time figuring out what to do next.

They figured out how to give schools $30.6 million in 2012-13 funding that had been earmarked for the laws (and that was after the state distributed $38 million in teacher bonuses, which had been promised before voters rejected the Proposition 2 pay-for-performance law). Lawmakers also reinstated bits and pieces of all three laws — including, but not only, the Proposition 1 collective bargaining law.

Now, consider the timing surrounding the Idaho Core Standards, Idaho’s version of Common Core.

Idaho school are training and writing curriculum to align with the math and English language arts standards. The state has upwards of $20 million to spend in 2013-14 for Common Core professional development, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna said at Friday’s education reform task force meeting. The standards will go into effect in the fall — more than four months before the start of the 2014 legislative session.

Forget about a special session to repeal the Idaho Core Standards. Only Gov. Butch Otter can call a special session, and he supports the standards. So legislative critics wouldn’t get a shot at a Common Core repeal before January 2014, well in the middle of the first year of statewide implementation.

Perhaps there will be a push to repeal or delay the Idaho Core Standards in 2014, three years after the Senate and House education committees approved the standards in the first place. But if Indiana is any guide, a repeal or delay in Idaho would make for a messy, murky situation.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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