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Common-Core Spending to Resume in Michigan Following Vote

The Michigan House of Representatives on Oct. 29 approved a Senate resolution that will allow the state to resume spending on the Common Core State Standards, ending a review of the standards that began earlier this year, the Associated Press reported. The Senate approved the resolution on Oct. 24. 

House members approved the Senate language on a voice vote, as did their colleagues in the upper chamber, meaning that there's no way to track who exactly voted yes and who voted no. The resolution does not require any further approval from Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, but if it did, it would almost certainly receive it, since Snyder is a vocal supporter of the common core. The resolution re-emphasizes the control local school districts maintain over curriculum and other decisions about what happens in classrooms.

Michigan is one of two states, along with Indiana, that have in some way hedged or initiated a review of the standards this year. Michigan GOP Rep. Tom McMillin at first introduced a bill to stop the standards in 2013, but when that bill failed to get traction, he changed his tactics and introduced the spending-freeze language into the state's budget. (Snyder did not have a line-item veto to eliminate this provision.) The resolution's passage means a defeat for McMillin and others in Michigan who testified at length against the standards late in the summer. 

Speaking about the resolution for a separate story I'm working on, Michigan Board of Education President John Austin said: "The clarifications were more re-assertions of what the common core was and was not already."

Indiana's state school board still has to hold a vote on whether to essentially re-adopt the standards or adopt new ones—the state's relationship with the standards is complicated. A recent report from state legislators on the panel did not include an official recommendation to keep or drop the common core. 

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