Local reaction to Jindal's Common Core lawsuit - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Local reaction to Jindal's Common Core lawsuit

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

There's another Common Core lawsuit. This time it's Governor Bobby Jindal versus the federal government.

On Wednesday, Jindal announced he filed a lawsuit against the federal government over the state-adopted standards. There's now several lawsuits in the works over Common Core, making it difficult for educators to watch the battle as it unfolds.

"They said this was a state-led effort. Instead, it's become something that's been taken over by the federal government," said Jindal at an unrelated news conference Wednesday in Lafayette.

Jindal announced Wednesday he's suing the federal government for taking what he calls a top-down approach to Common Core academic standards, rather than a voluntary effort led by the state.

"They're saying they know better than us, better than locals what curriculum should be taught in our schools. That's not an appropriate role for the federal government," explained Jindal.

While Jindal once favored the standards, he's since changed sides, saying the original plans sounded like a good idea, "Clearly this is not what they presented back in 2010."

But could it be too late? More than 40 states are moving forward this school year with Common Core curriculum, including Calcasieu Parish.

Calcasieu Parish School Board officials also released a statement on Jindal's decision, saying they like other districts across the state must adhere to BESE's guidelines.

It reads: "Calcasieu, along with our fellow public districts across the state, must adapt to guidelines as directed by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). We choose to remain focused on the education of our students and the support of our teachers instead of diverting the district's attention to the flurry of lawsuits facing education at the state and national levels. We have an ear to the ground listening for potential change, but we have to direct our efforts to the task at hand; providing a high-quality education to our students and the necessary resources to our teachers to make that a reality.”

In the lawsuit, Jindal says BESE has been misled. He also claims the federal government coerced states to adopt Common Core, or risk losing out on grant funding like Race to the Top.

"Arne Duncan himself threatened the state of Oklahoma, when they withdrew from Common Core, threatened them with a loss of millions of dollars in federal funding," explained Jindal.

Jindal's decision drew mixed reactions on Facebook. But ultimately, Jindal says, "Somebody's got to stand up for the rights of our local community, somebody's got to stand up for the rights of our parents, our teachers, but most importantly our students."

Jindal reiterated Louisiana already has rigorous standards and suggested legislators revisit the books to allow the state to come together to decide the best way to move forward without federal influence.

View the complete lawsuit here: http://www.gov.state.la.us/assets/docs/Jindal%20Final%20Complaint.pdf

Copyright 2014 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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