Feds strip Oklahoma of education funding decisions
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Obama administration on Thursday stripped Oklahoma of authority to decide how to spend $29 million in education funding because the state abandoned national academic standards known as Common Core, in a rebuke that a union official said could lead to teacher layoffs.
The Department of Education said it was hitting Oklahoma with the sanction under the No Child Left Behind Act because the state no longer could demonstrate that its school standards were preparing students for college and careers.
The Republican-dominated Oklahoma Legislature voted this year to ditch Common Core, a national benchmark for what students should learn in such subjects as math and English that has been adopted in more than 40 states.
GOP Gov. Mary Fallin signed the measure into law, and Oklahoma will revert to weaker standards in place in 2010.
Following the announcement, Fallin blasted Obama and the federal government for the decision and said Oklahoma would fight vigorously.
“It is outrageous that President Obama and Washington bureaucrats are trying to dictate how Oklahoma schools spend education dollars,” she said in a statement. “This is one more example of an out-of-control presidency that places a politicized Washington agenda over the well-being of Oklahoma students.”
Common Core has drawn a chorus of complaints from conservatives, who see it as a federal power grab over education, traditionally a state and local matter. Louisiana's Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Obama administration, accusing it of illegally manipulating federal grant money to force states to adopt Common Core. In addition to Oklahoma, the Republican-led states of Indiana and South Carolina have ditched Common Core.
Washington is the only other state to have faced a federal sanction similar to Oklahoma, although the issue there was how teachers were evaluated rather than overall academic standards.
More than 40 states have received “waivers” from the Department of Education, essentially approvals to states allowing flexibility in how federal money is spent under No Child Left Behind. Indiana and Kansas were granted one-year waivers under the education law Thursday, in sharp contrast to the Oklahoma decision.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Video prompts calls for probe of Chicago police
- Company backs away from pledge to cut drug’s $750-per-pill price
- Ads for Nazi-themed show pulled from NYC subways
- Obama: No credible intelligence about terror plot against US
- U.S. troops suspended in airstrike on Afghan hospital
- Military Academy bans pillow fights; 30 hurt during last one
- Student dies in traditional Ohio State University lake jump
- N.H. prep grad to appeal sex assault verdict
- Obama signs $607B Defense bill but blasts GOP limits for Gitmo
- ‘Crisis mode’ near at U.S.-Mexico line as nearly 5,000 children try to cross border in October
- Peanut glut poses hefty bailout tab for taxpayers