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Oklahoma Governor Mulls Common-Core Repeal


Oklahoma is teetering on the edge of repealing its adoption of the Common Core State Standards. A bill passed by the state legislature to revoke the standards is now awaiting action by Gov. Mary Fallin.

Whether she'll sign the measure is an open question. The Republican chief executive has been a strong supporter of the standards. Fallin has said that she's considering the bill, and is taking input before making her decision, according to the Tulsa World. UPDATED: The governor has until June 7 to sign the measure. Her spokesman, Alex Weintz, said she can sign it, veto it, or let it die by not signing it, a move known as a "pocket veto." The governor is "taking this week to review the legislation and will act on it next week," he said.

House Bill 3399 calls for the state to create new standards by Aug. 1, 2016. According to the Associated Press, the Oklahoma House voted 71-18 in favor of the bill on Friday. The Senate passed it 31-10 and sent it to Gov. Fallin.

News reports on the debate in the two chambers showed a wide variety of concerns about the bill, from fears of federal overreach to concerns that revoking the standards could threaten Oklahoma's waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act. Some lawmakers are also worried that putting a new set of standards in place now would be disruptive for educators and students, since common-core implementation had already begun in many Oklahoma districts.

As we reported recently, Oklahoma is one of a handful of states considering reversing their decisions to adopt the standards. Missouri and South Carolina were also thinking about it as of last week. And Indiana, of course, has already undone its adoption. 

The passage of H.B. 3399 marks the second time this month that the state legislature has been at odds with Gov. Fallin on an education issue. It just overrode her veto of legislation that allows 3rd graders to be promoted to 4th grade even though they failed the state's standardized reading test.

[CORRECTION: The original version of this blog post provided the wrong date for when new standards would have to be put in place. The deadline set by the legislation is Aug. 1, 2016.]

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