The educational value of adopting Common Core standards has sparked debate among educators and parents across the nation. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal brought another perspective back into the spotlight when he filed suit against President Obama and his administration for using Common Core to violate states’ rights.

The lawsuit states that the Department of Education is illegally “manipulating federal grant money and regulations to force states to adopt the Common Core education standards.”

When Common Core was first presented to the states, those that did not adopt the standards risked losing billions in federal education funding. It was technically a choice, but a heavily weighted one. Obama even took credit in his 2013 State of the Union Address for using grant money to convince states to adopt “higher standards.”

Jindal says this heavy-handed persuasion violates the state sovereignty clause in the Constitution and federal laws prohibiting the national control of educational content. His lawsuit aims to divorce the adoption of Common Core from the receipt of federal funding.

“The federal government has hijacked and destroyed the Common Core initiative,” Jindal said in a statement. “Common Core is the latest effort by big government disciples to strip away state rights and put Washington, D.C., in control of everything.”

Louisiana adopted Common Core and joined the PARCC testing consortium in order to receive Race to the Top grant money and federal waivers. Since Jindal supported the move in 2010, some are calling his change of opinion politically motivated. He may have been taken in by the feds’ ploy, but he now recognizes it for what it is.

“Louisiana now finds itself trapped in a federal scheme to nationalize curriculum,” the lawsuit says. “What started as good state intentions has materialized into the federalization of education policy through federal economic incentives and duress.”

We cannot allow the most precious possessions of a free people to be turned over to the government’s control. This is a battle being fought on many fronts in our country. As with healthcare, so with education – the best decisions will be made by families, local communities, and states, not bureaucrats in Washington, DC.

About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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