Common Core Update

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Jackson, Miss.

A battle over Common Core is brewing at the Mississippi Capitol this week.

The most vocal push-back has come from members of the Senate Conservative Coalition.

“Common Core was supposed to be one of our big issues this year. But we've been so bogged down, we're just starting to deal with it now,” said Sen. Kenny Wayne Jones.

Sen. Angela Hill unsuccessfully requested an amendment during a Senate Appropriations Committee meeting. It would have removed some of the state funding for common core implementation.

“It's time that the truth be told to our taxpayers that we're wasting a lot of money on a program that's actually not going to move our kids up in the world,” Hill said.

Hill says the standards aren't as rigorous as they're billed to be. She points to concerns over Common Core math not preparing students for advanced placement courses and STEM careers.

This House bill includes a line item that gives more than $6,000 for teacher training on the literacy component of Common Core. Hill wants that funding source deleted.

“I think it would slow it and I think it would send a message to the Department of Education that the legislature's catching on to this,” said Hill.

Other legislators aren't convinced that the devil's in the details, as some Senate Conservative Coalition members have said.

“The jury is still somewhat out on Common Core," said Jones. "We can't get the gist really of what's going on. It started off as a Republican initiative. Now it's everybody's initiative and the Republicans are now fighting it.”

Jones says he's ready to battle it out on the Senate floor if necessary.

"If we have to use scare tactics, I'm ready to scare somebody," Jones said. "Because we're going to do just what needs to be done to protect the children of Mississippi and make them competitive throughout the nation.”

Hill expects the amendment to be brought up again during floor debate this week.