Republicans sign petition forcing hearing on common core

State Representatives Dave Rutigliano (R-123), Tony Hwang (R-134), and Larry Miller (R-122), were among the 51 Republican legislators signing a petition forcing Democrats to hold formal public hearings on the Common Core State Standards and public school teacher evaluation standards.

House Republicans used a rule that allows a bill to be raised by legislative petition as opposed to being raised by committee leadership.

“Even with the growing chorus of educators, parents, and countless others coming out against these programs, the leadership chose to deny the public their right to have input on our public education system,” Rep. Rutigliano said. “The Governor and the Democrats wanted to have closed, controlled hearings on issues that will have a significant impact on the entire public school system. We felt this was a necessary step to give the public the debate and accountability they deserve. No matter what side of this issue you are on, who can argue with the public having their say?”

The two bills that will be raised under Joint Rule 11 are a House Republican Caucus proposal regarding the acceptance of the latest revisions to the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) teacher evaluations, and a bill from Representative Marilyn Giuliano (R-23) that would place a moratorium on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards pending a public hearing and investigation by the State Department of Education on the standards' potential impact.

“The Common Core education has been imposed on our educators and children without a proper legislative review process, and more importantly, did not include the major shareholders impacted by this legislative fiat,” Rep. Hwang said. “Educators, administrators, and parents were not part of the decision-making process, but were mandated to implement the standards. Ultimately, it is our children who will suffer from this flawed educational process. Bottom line, this legislative hearing will allow those critical shareholders to offer their valued perspective in producing the best educational program for our children into the future. I strongly support this initiative.”

“You wouldn't think that we would have to fight to get the voices of multitudes of parents and teachers heard,” said Rep. Miller. “Unfortunately, that's just what we had to do. I am hopeful that now we will have a full and open hearing on all aspects of Common Core, and that we will finally get local input on this top-down mandate on our school systems.”

Under Rule 11, upon receiving the signed petitions, the Legislative Commissioners’ Office will prepare the requested bills and forward them to the House clerk for processing and referral to the Education Committee, who will then begin the process toward holding the public hearing.