Lawmaker protests $1 million campaign / Rep-Am

January 23, 2014

A Republican lawmaker is looking to block education officials from spending $1 million on an advertising campaign for the Common Core curriculum. The state Department of Education is preparing to hire a consultant to help develop a communication strategy to promote the new national standards. Four bids were received last month.

Sen. Joe Markley, R-16th District, announced on Wednesday that he is introducing legislation to eliminate the $1 million in funding that has been set aside for the advertising campaign. The legislature will convene its 2014 session on Feb. 5. In July 2010, the state Board of Education adopted the Common Core standards, as did 44 other states. “Why should the state spend a million taxpayer dollars to sell us on its policies? They adopted Common Core without asking our approval,” Markley said. “Why try to buy our support now, with our own money?” The standards are designed to prepare American students for higher education and the workplace. Organized by grade and subject matter, the standards list specific skill areas and subject matter content that teachers must help their students master. Teachers and school districts must use the standards to design their own curriculum. There is opposition to the Common Core. Markley is not a supporter. “I firmly believe that local districts know best how to educate their students,” Markley said.