'Common Core Compromise' bills all advancing

'Common Core Compromise' bills all advancing
House Education Committee (Source: WAFB)
House Education Committee (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It originally started the session as a showdown and has become a compromise. The three bills touted as the "Common Core Compromise" plan were up for debate Wednesday, and the move has a new high-profile supporter that might surprise some.

Sen. Conrad Appel, R-Metairie, is a Common Core supporter, and his part of the so-called compromise plan, SB 43, covers the process of how newly developed standards will be put in place.

Hypothetically, when they get to his desk next year, the new governor could only send the standards back to the drafters in their entirety. The governor could not pick and choose what he wants to veto.

"Those standards then go back to BESE for additional work and the existing standards stay in place until such time as BESE comes forth with a new (set of standards) and I guess the process starts all over again until we get it straight," Appel explained.

The bill sailed out of the House Education Committee.

It will now go to the House floor where Sen. Appel's colleague, Rep. Brett Geymann, presented his part of the plan. Rep. Geymann is a Common Core opponent and his bill contains the steps in which the standards are reviewed, including public hearings.

"Members thank you to all of you who worked together on this agreement, this compromise," said Geymann, R-Lake Charles, to the full House on Wednesday.

Rep. Geymann's bill also passed overwhelmingly, only Rep. Marcus Hunter, D-Monroe, was opposed.

As for the states biggest name opposed to Common Core, Gov. Jindal is now in.

After saying two weeks ago the plan did not have his support, the governor's office now says in a statement, "We are supportive of this compromise now that the Superintendent and BESE have listened to the concerns of parents, legislators and the administration about the make-up of the standards review commission. The next step will be to elect leaders who are committed to getting rid of Common Core."

Education leaders announced Tuesday a list of 92 people who are being considered to write the new standards. The final group will be selected at a BESE meeting next month. Gov. Jindal's office wants to be sure Common Core supporters aren't part of the plan.

"Everything is in place for us to have the real Louisiana standards written by real Louisianians in a real democratic process," said Rep. Lance Harris, R-Alexandria.

The third bill of the package also passed the house floor Wednesday. The bill from Rep. John Schroder, R-Covington, would change Common Core testing for next year.

The plan is to have a new set of standards in place for the fall of 2016.

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