Anti-Common Core bills sinking in House sub; Womick blames pressure from Haslam, GOP leadership

Eight bills to derail Common Core standards to one degree or another were pushed to the back of the House Education Subcommittee’s calendar Tuesday, the Tennessean reports, and that raises doubts their prospects for passage.

Some lawmakers critical of Common Core failed to show up Tuesday. Others requested the delay in advance. Rep. Rick Womick, R-Rockvale, among the latter group, later accused Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration, which has staunchly defended Common Core, of pressuring dissenters.

“We had certain people lined up to vote in favor of it today, and then all of a sudden, they’re caving,” Womick said. “They’re being pressured by the administration and by leadership in the House not to vote for these bills.”

…Bills delayed include four introduced by Womick: HB2323, which would totally discontinue Common Core in Tennessee; HB1825, which would postpone further implementation; HB1828, which would delay the move to PARCC testing; and HB1826, which would let the General Assembly vote on funding future state assessments.

Among other measures pushed back from consideration was one from Rep. Billy Spivey, R-Lewisburg, that would reimburse local districts for the costs of buying technology for PARCC. It has a few dozen co-sponsors, but carries a fiscal note of more than $50 million a year. Other bills had similar fiscal demands.

“With today’s budget, if you move a bill like this out, they will have to get their fiscal note in order first,” said Rep. Mark White, R-Memphis, who chairs the subcommittee.

House Education Committee Chairman Harry Brooks, R-Knoxville, a Common Core supporter, said it was the choice of lawmakers to not present or to ask for the delay. “It was their request.”

Meanwhile, the subcommittee advanced a bill sponsored by Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville, that would prohibit the use of student data for purposes other than tracking academic progress. It, too, is targeted at Common Core, but it’s not the full-on assault many critics want to see.

See also Post Politics, where there’s this observation on the process:
“We’re weeding through this slowly but surely to make sure that we’re still picking our own textbooks, to make sure we’re not sharing data with the federal government, to make sure that, again, we’re setting the curriculum,” said Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey Tuesday. “I do believe that most cases that is the case, but if we have to make sure of that by putting in the code, that’s what we’ll do.”