Common Core Opposition Sparks Rally

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Jackson, Miss. Over the next three months, there will be plenty of issues that are discussed by Mississippi lawmakers. But one debate started outside the Capitol even before the gavel sounded Tuesday.

“Terminate the implementation of Common Core,” said Roy Nicholson of the Mississippi Tea Party.

The organization held an anti-Common Core rally Tuesday and stands by its opinion that the federal government will now have control over our children's education.

“To which we tell them no,” said Nicholson.

The group moved from the rally to the Capitol where members said they hoped their voices would be heard by lawmakers.

“It appears that the Mississippi Department of Education did not have a real review of what the Common Core standards were going to say,” said Laura Van Overschelde, chair of the Mississippi Tea Party.

The Mississippi tea Party contends that the standards won't live up to the promises of higher achievement.

With the session underway, one senator has a bill aimed at stopping Common Core, drafted and ready to file.

“What I would like to do is replace Common Core with exemplary that another state had prior to Common Core that were heralded by experts across the country as being good standards, better than Common Core,” said Republican state Sen. Angela Hill of District 40.

Gov. Phil Bryant says he'd like to see the legislature follow his lead with Common Core legislation.

“I hope we do that," said Bryant. "(It) will help us build a fence around our educational system that will keep the federal government from interfering with it. That's why I issued the executive order, not to appease anyone.”

Still, some Democratic legislators are skeptical about the Common Core controversy.

“These people that are fighting it really don't understand Common Core,” said Democratic state Rep. Credell Calhoun of District 68.

“I'm trusting the local school board," said Democratic state Rep. Bobby Moak of District 53. "I'm trusting the state board of education to give us some guidance on this matter and I don't see them backing that up right now.”