Statement by Gubernatorial Candidate Frank Riggs, on Gov. Jan Brewer's Veto of HB 2316
"I'm very disappointed that Gov. Brewer vetoed HB 2316, important and timely legislation designed to protect local control and decision-making in K-12 education and the fundamental right of parents to safeguard the privacy of their children. I commend Representatives Justin Pierce and Tom Forese for sponsoring the legislation, and the conservative majority in the State Legislature for passing the bill and sending it to the Governor.
"Gov. Brewer's veto represents a decision on her part, and the monied interests backing Common Core (aka Arizona's College & Career Ready Standards) which lobbied against the bill, to double-down on Common Core. How else to explain the opposition to legislation which simply says that Arizona state government "shall not adopt any educational standards, curricula or instructional approaches that may be mandated by the federal government"? Furthermore, this legislation was prospective, not retroactive, and would not have repealed Arizona's participation in Common Core.
"Anyone who claims that Common Core is not federally mandated is being disingenuous. Arizona was required to adopt Common Core in exchange for a small amount of federal grant funding (a fraction of total K-12 education funding in Arizona), and a waiver of burdensome federal education regulations. For these crumbs from the federal government - which under the Obama Administration has constantly expanded in size, scope, reach and power - we have surrendered state sovereignty and abdicated our responsibility for determining the appropriate educational standards and assessments for our kids.
"As I've said repeatedly, I'll exercise my executive authority to 'repeal' Arizona's participation in Common Core (by withdrawing Arizona from the Memorandum Of Understanding with the U.S. Department of Education) and then convene a statewide education accountability summit to hear from Arizonans, especially parents and educators, on how we ensure high Arizona standards for Arizona students, that protect local control and decision-making, and parental school choice, in K-12 education. We will stop Common Core on Day One, including the collection of longitudinal data on students, and save Arizona taxpayers the estimated $387 million to implement Common Core, which is money far better spent in the classroom, and to attract and retain talented, dedicated educators in our district and charter schools.
"I want to get on with the job of improving K-12 education, the cause to which I've devoted the last 18 years of my life, and Step One in the Riggs Plan to improve Arizona K-12 education is to repeal Common Core. I'm ready to lead and will be the "Education Governor." And I will bring back local control over standards and assessments while protecting parental school choice and charter school autonomy."