Senator Melanie Sojourner released today a letter delivered to Governor Phil Bryant on Thursday afternoon in which she requests he veto SB 2161, the bill purported by Lt. Governor Tate Reeves to put an end to Common Core.
Sojourner disagrees, saying the legislation doesn’t end the commitment to the standards, but instead has the effect of possibly locking the state into never being rid of them.
“It will make future repeal practically impossible,” she says.
“The bill does nothing to end Common Core. It merely renames it and creates yet another group of political appointments to help cover for politicians who refuse to take a principled position during an election year,” Sojourner wrote. “The bill was designed to give (legislators) cover to appear as if we had done something when, in fact, we have taken no substantive action whatsoever.”
Sojourner says she has great respect for the legislative process and doesn’t make the veto request lightly. However, SB 2161 must be done away with to allow a fully transparent debate on Common Core in the Mississippi Legislature.
“Please allow the legislature to take real action to fully repealing Common Core. With reports of a special session on the horizon, placing Common Core on the agenda would guarantee a vigorous and transparent debate, without the games and posturing we have become accustomed to during the 2015 regular session.”
Sojourner says SB 2161 adds another layer of government bureaucracy that comes between parents, teachers and students, and gives politicians “political cover.”
“The people of Mississippi do not need more federal involvement, another commission or an added layer of government bureaucrats; we need the legislature to do its job, however difficult,” she writes. “We must fully repeal Common Core and return education decisions to parents and teachers at the local level.”
Sojourner writes to Gov. Bryant that she has “great concerns that Mississippi’s push for more diverse school choice policy will be negatively affected if we do not address this immediately.”
She adds that “Common Core will eventually be used to reduce the autonomy of homeschooling parents, and others who seek to maintain the liberty of offering their children an alternative” education.
Sen. Melanie Sojourner Press Release