BY: Bobby Harrison | Daily Journal
Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who also has advocated for the repeal of Common Core, has praised the legislation.
“This legislation will end Common Core and allow Mississippians to create strong academic standards that are among the highest in the nation,” Reeves has said.
But during the debate on the proposal, Reeves’ Education Committee chair, Sen. Gray Tollison, R-Oxford, said, “This is just a commission developed to look at the existing standards … Nobody is getting rid of anything. This is just a commission.”
But by the same token, Tollison and other legislative leaders have said that if the Board of Education does not heed the recommendations of the commission, the Legislature could take additional action in 2016. But by that time, the new standards, which by some estimates the state and local school districts have spent nearly $90 million to enact, would be well entrenched in the state.
If Bryant did veto the legislation, it could create some interesting dynamics since he would be opposing legislation approved by an overwhelming number of his fellow Republicans.
In the 122-member House, only 29 members (one Republican) voted against the proposal. Generally speaking, the Democrats who voted against the proposal did so because they do not think the Legislature should be trying to usurp the authority of the constitutionally created Board of Education.
In the 52-member Senate, six members (three Republicans) voted no. One of those Republicans, Sen. Melanie Sojourner of Natchez, has advocated the governor veto the proposal and call a special session to pass stronger anti-Common Core legislation.
And various Tea Party groups, such as those closely associated with Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, have been pressing for a Bryant veto.
“If we pass this bill, we will never see a change,” McDaniel said when the proposal was debated.