Is Common Core Just a Symptom of a Larger Constitutional Problem?

Last week, Oklahoma became the second state in the union to repeal Common Core.

But before Gov. Mary Fallin signed that bill into law, one of the questions she had to consider was whether or not getting rid of Common Core was worth putting her state’s education funding in jeopardy.

One of the strategies that Congress has used for decades to increase its power is to offer the states money for something like funding education or highways. Naturally, that money always comes with a catch: The only way for the states to get the funding is to implement policies that the federal government approves of. It’s a back-door way for members of Congress to gain control over issues that are supposed to be left to the states.

Therefore, the issue of Common Core isn’t as simple as asking if it is a good policy for the children of Oklahoma. Fallin also has to decide if her state can afford to deny the federal government here.

That is why allowing the federal government to give money to the states is more than just a bad policy idea. It completely distorts our Constitutional system of government. In my Constitution Revolution segment for The Chris Salcedo Show (which you can hear on TheBlaze Radio every Saturday) I explain exactly why:

It’s important to remember that the states were supposed to act as a critical barrier against the federal government increasing its power. But today, most of our states are dependent on Washington, D.C. for their funding.

It should be common sense that when you are dependent on someone else for your survival, you aren’t in a very good position to challenge that person’s authority over you. Most of us saw this demonstrated in our own homes growing up. Do you remember hearing the phrase, “As long as you live under my roof, you’ll live by my rules?” Well the same thing is true when it comes to government.

When Indiana repealed Common Core, they received a sternly worded letter from the Department of Education asking Gov. Mike Pence if he really wanted to risk his state’s education funding. Basically, what the federal government was saying in that letter is, “If you want to live under my roof, you’re going to live by my rules.”

And just like a teenager challenging his parents, a lot of states aren’t left with many options because they need Washington, D.C. to provide for them.

Again, the states were supposed to play a major role in making sure that the federal government didn’t become too powerful and begin to take away your freedom. But you might have noticed that massive amounts of power are being centralized in Washington, D.C. and few, if any, of our states are even making a peep about it.

In this photo taken on Tuesday, March 25, 2013, Mrs. Mary Natali goes over some information on the dry-erase board with her first grade class at George Buck Elementary School in Indianapolis. The national math and education standards outlined in the Common Core are everywhere at Buck Elementary. Stapled packets of the standards hang outside classroom doors, and individual guidelines are cut out and displayed in the hallways next to hand-drawn graphs scribbled in crayon. A bill signed last Monday by Gov. Mike Pence makes Indiana the first state to revoke those standards, but what will replace them is unclear in a state where teachers are still reeling from years of change. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
In this photo taken on Tuesday, March 25, 2013, Mrs. Mary Natali goes over some information on the dry-erase board with her first grade class at George Buck Elementary School in Indianapolis. The national math and education standards outlined in the Common Core are everywhere at Buck Elementary. Stapled packets of the standards hang outside classroom doors, and individual guidelines are cut out and displayed in the hallways next to hand-drawn graphs scribbled in crayon. A bill signed last Monday by Gov. Mike Pence makes Indiana the first state to revoke those standards, but what will replace them is unclear in a state where teachers are still reeling from years of change. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

That’s because they literally can’t afford to.

Before we can ever have a realistic chance to rein in the size of our federal government, the states have to regain their financial independence. Until they do, they will always be living under the federal government’s roof and we’ll all be stuck living under federal government’s increasingly intrusive rules.

Chad Kent is an author and speaker with a unique style that makes the Constitution simple and fun. Listen to Chad every Saturday during The Chris Salcedo Show on TheBlaze Radio and visit his web site at www.ChadKentSpeaks.com.

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

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