BATON ROUGE, La. (TheBlaze/AP) — Parents and teachers who support the Common Core education standards are suing Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, accusing him of illegally meddling in education policy.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday says the Republican governor and his Division of Administration “have sown chaos in the education system” and violated the Louisiana Constitution by issuing a series of executive orders aimed at undermining Common Core.
Jindal said in a statement that the lawsuit has no merit and cited a law that gives his administration the authority to oversee contracts.
In June, Jindal suspended testing contracts that the state education department planned to use to buy testing material aligned with Common Core for the upcoming school year.
The governor said the department didn’t follow state procurement law and needed to seek competitive bids for the work, but he also acknowledged he took the action to disrupt Louisiana’s use of the Common Core standards.
The controversial national standards are grade-by-grade benchmarks that dictate what students should learn. More than 40 states have adopted them, but the backlash from parents and teachers has been fierce.
In fact, Common Core’s branding has been so bad that even pro-Common Core advocates, like former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), have suggested changing the title because it has become “toxic.”
“Rebrand it, refocus it, but don’t retreat,” Huckabee said at a recent meeting of the Council of Chief State School Officers.
The lawsuit said Jindal’s actions don’t comply with constitutional provisions that give education policy-setting authority to the Legislature and implementation authority to a special board.
Jindal was a one-time Common Core supporter and is a potential presidential candidate in 2016. He now opposes the standards as a federal intrusion into local education, echoing criticisms levied by tea party supporters around the country.