Anticipated Common Core showdown results in compromise deal

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Lawmakers on both sides of the Common Core debate passed a bill in the House Education Committee Wednesday as part of a compromise plan to enact a different set of standards for the 2016-2017 school year.

"I can't imagine this would ever happen," said Rep. Brett Geymann, R-Lake Charles and author of HB 373.

Under the plan, state education leaders at the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education would review and develop what would be called "The Louisiana Student Standards."

Rep. Chris Broadwater says the process will happen through a series of statewide public education meetings.

"Any member of the public who wants to be apart of that conversation has a chance to be there," says Rep. Broadwater, R-Hammond.

If the new standards are rejected by the governor or lawmakers, Common Core will remain in place while education leaders try again to bring those standards in.

The governor would only be able to send the standards back to the drafters in their entirety, not pick and choose what he wants to veto.

Although he would be out of office by the time a different set of standards would be in place, the compromise plan reached Wednesday did not have the approval of Gov. Jindal.

"If there was a governor or a legislature next year that was pro Common Core and decided to veto whatever comes out of this process, the default is Common Core under this agreement and that does draw some concern for us," said Stafford Palmieri with Gov. Jindal's Office.

Another issue for Gov. Jindal is the people that education leaders at BESE will appoint to draft new standards. In a statement from the governor's office Wednesday, Gov. Jindal's staff says the drafters may be Common Core supporters.

The deal does have the green light however from state Supt. John White.

The committee heard from supporters and opponents of Common Core for two hours Wednesday.

"Give it time to work. It is working," said Nicole Nelson, a Caddo Parish teacher.

"I am in favor of Common Core. I love it," said Bonnie Kirk, a Ouachita Parish teacher and mother.

"Since Common Core equates to educational child abuse, let's go ahead and get rid of it," said Dennis Burke, a Jefferson Parish grandfather.

Some people on both sides expressed skepticism about the compromise. Ultimately, supporters of the bill applauded committee members when they decided to forward it to the House Floor.

"We need local standards tied to our culture," said Candyce Watsey, a teacher at Mandeville Jr. High.

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