Where’s The Honor?
If you really want Common Core stopped in Kansas, then this is the week for you to fight like the dickens for what you want. All House leadership, House Education Committee Republicans, and YOUR representative need to hear (and read) your frustration with these shenanigans. This bill can still be saved, but it will take you and your best and continued efforts to get this done. You are the grass roots. Make your voices heard! At the bottom of this message is what we need you to ask for as well as a list of names and numbers.
Speaker Merrick purportedly sent HB2292 back to committee, after it had been passed favorably out on February 17th, to have language added clarifying AP. Representative Barton had already met with the revisor to draft that language, and had it ready for the meeting.
To start the meeting on March 18th, Chairman Highland called on Representative Grosserode who, after bringing up the same points she has brought up in previous years, had the revisors hand out and “idea – being conceptual in nature” to adopt as a substitute for the current language of HB2292.
Representatives Trimmer and Lusk were the first to be called on by the Chair. Multiple representatives were called upon to speak. Notably, Representative Trimmer spoke multiple times. Included in the discussion of the committee were multiple language changes. It was observed that Representative Barton even had his hand raised many times and was never called upon by the Chair.
By the end of the hour-long meeting, the committee asked for a couple of readings of the language of the substitute bill based on changes made per the comments of committee members. The members voted on a final reading of the language. It went from an idea/concept on paper to an oral reading of new language to passing within an hour. The language was never made available for public information or response. It was a complete Nancy Pelosi moment—“We have to pass it so we can find out what’s inside.”
The following were noted to have raised their hands in support of the substitution language: Grosserode, K. Jones, Hutchins, Rhoades, Hedke, Macheers, Lunn, Bruchman, and Bradford. Then, the same members voted the bill favorably out of committee.
On Friday, March 18th, 2016, the House Education Committee gutted a five-page bill and action that you have supported and elected people to vote for for multiple years, and substituted it with a PARAGRAPH that was not seen prior to Friday’s committee meeting, was written within an hour, and passed favorably based on an oral reading. It is clear that legislators are not serious about removing Washington D.C. education from Kansas. It was clear that the members were going to vote favorably for whatever motion Amanda Grosserode brought.
The Education Establishment (lobbyists, teacher union members and administrators being paid by YOUR tax dollars) has been putting in overtime, flooding your legislators with calls, cards, and emails. Even the PTA is promoting Common Core! We know you have been calling, as well. But, as you will see below, your legislators—especially the Republicans you elected to bring conservative principles—are only responding to the Establishment. Take note of the legislators’ actions from Friday, and unless they act to reverse their mis-informed actions, remember it this coming November. Make sure your dissatisfaction is heard at the voting booth.
Briefly, the new bill language does not address Kansas College and Career Ready Standards and all its alignments and entanglements, including assessments and data. THE NEW BILL LANGUAGE IN NO WAY AFFIRMS PARENTAL RIGHTS TO DIRECT THEIR CHILD’S EDUCATION.
It is noteworthy that while Amanda Grosserode sports a libertarian label and is “known” for her high ratings on the Freedom Index (as several fellow legislators like to bring up), she has never proactively brought any legislation since being elected to office to remove Common Core and all its entanglements and aliases from the state of Kansas. She has repeatedly, and during every legislative session with pending Common Core legislation, bemoaned the difficulty of the Common Core issue and how there just isn’t any perfect way to address it and how there are never “the votes” to do anything about it.
Her talking points have never changed. Representative Grosserode has consistently brought amendments to the committee at the eleventh hour. These are never available for public review prior to their presentation, and are always effectively used to kill legislation that would actually remove Common Core and all its entanglements from Kansas.
As well, she has stayed far away from addressing anything in regard to the massive and intrusive data collecting and profiles being amassed on kids at the state level. This data collection is required as one of the four assurances agreed to when Governor Parkinson agreed to bring Common Core into Kansas. Not surprisingly, Representative Grosserode homeschools her kids. From her desk in Topeka, she has been able to protect her kids from the things public school kids have no protection from. Does she view the protections she desires for her own children differently than those she desires for other parents’ children? She has never brought any anti-Common Core legislation at the beginning of the session; she only brings eleventh hour legislation to kill other legislation.
While many members of the legislature espouse their dislike of Common Core and their commitment to having it removed, as you can see, when it comes to actually doing it, they can only coalesce around killing legislation or passing essentially do-nothing legislation.
HB2292 was drafted over several months of work by a committee that specifically crafted the legislation to be in accordance with the Kansas Constitution. In recent weeks, THOUSANDS of Kansans have SIGNED PETITIONS in favor or HB2292. This is in addition to years of the public telling the legislature (through phone calls, emails, rallies at the capitol, statements made at campaign events, testimony submitted in support of anti-Common Core legislation, previous petitions signed, etc.) to end Common Core and all its entanglements in Kansas. The actions of legislators are contrary to what Kansans elected them to do and continue asking them to do.
THE ONLY VIABLE ACTION AT THIS TIME IS FOR THE LANGUAGE PASSED ON 3/18 TO BE REMOVED AND THE PREVIOUS BILL LANGUAGE BE RE-INSERTED. CONSTITUENTS MUST DEMAND THIS OF THEIR LEGISLATORS AND THEN LEGISLATORS NEED TO BE OVERT IN DEMANDING THIS HAPPEN, AND INSIST THEIR VOTE BE PUBLISHED. ONLY THEN WILL CONSTITUENTS KNOW FOR SURE HOW TO EVALUATE THEIR LEGISLATOR ON THIS ISSUE FOR THE UPCOMING ELECTIONS.
+Speaker Ray Merrick
+Speaker Pro Tem Peggy Mast
+Majority Leader Jene Vickrey
+Assistant Majority Leader Mario Goico
+Majority Whip Willie Dove
+Education Committee Chair Ron Highland
+Rep. Tony Barton
+Rep. John Bradford
+Rep. Dennis Hedke
+Rep. Becky Hutchins
+Rep. Kevin Jones
+Rep. Kasha Kelley
+Rep. Jerry Lunn
+Rep. Charles Macheers
+Rep. Marc Rhoades
Find your representative HERE.