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Ohio Bill to Repeal Common Core Clears Committee, Future Unclear

A bill that would repeal the Common Core State Standards and replace them with Massachusetts' literacy and math standards while new ones are developed was approved by the Ohio House Rules and Reference Committee on Nov. 5, but it's not certain whether there's enough support among legislators to get it to the House floor for a full vote.

The legislation, House Bill 597, passed the committee by a 7-2 vote and is sponsored by GOP Rep. Matt Huffman, the number two Republican in the Ohio House, along with Republican Andy Thompson, a long-time foe of the common core who I interviewed back in July 2013 when he was pushing an earlier repeal bill. However, Huffman told the Newark Advocate that he moved quickly after the Nov. 4 election to get the bill passed, in order to have more time to build up support for the legislation.

Huffman added that unless he can get 50 of his fellow Republicans to support his repeal bill, he won't bother bringing it to the House floor for a vote by the entire chamber. It's unclear whether he'll be able to get that kind of support. (The GOP controls the legislature.)

Opposition to the common core became a prominent storyline in the Ohio legislature this year, and state lawmakers held hearings about the standards over the summer. The chairman of the House education committee, GOP Rep. Gerald Stebelton, blocked Thompson's prior effort to move an anti-common-core bill through the House, and he said of the most recent bill that passed out of the House committee, "It has no merit."

Gov. John Kasich, a Republican who was just re-elected easily, is also a common-core supporter.

Meanwhile, in the Ohio Board of Education elections on Nov. 4, two supporters of the common core beat, or were on track to beat, opponents of the standards, the Journal-News in Dayton reported. There were seven state board seats up for election this week out of the 11 total elected seats—eight other seats are appointed. The state board adopted the common core in 2010. 

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