GREEN BAY – Late Thursday afternoon, Gov. Scott Walker released the following one-line statement:
“Today, I call on the members of the State Legislature to pass a bill in early January to repeal Common Core and replace it with standards set by people in Wisconsin.”
Wisconsin adopted the common core state standards in 2010. They are federal benchmarks for English and math. The state implemented science standards in 2013.
School districts across the state have spent more than $25 million to make common core work.
State Rep. Eric Genrich (D-Green Bay) told FOX 11 News that repealing Common Core would be too costly.
“Districts have been moving along with the new standards for several years, and for us to pull the rug out from under them at this stage, so late in the game, I don’t think it’s appropriate,” said Genrich.
This isn’t the first time Republicans in Wisconsin have opposed common core.
State Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa) introduced a bill earlier this year to do away with it. At that time, she cited lack of local district control.
“Wisconsin needs standards that will set our students on a path for success. I don’t believe common core does that,” said Vukmir in March.
That bill failed in March.
Many school districts are set to implement new standardized tests aligned with the common core this coming school year.
Other Democrats across the state say Walker is using this as a political move.
“He offers zero explanation for why (he) wants to undermine efforts to improve our educational standards from 38th in the country and zero plan for moving forward,” Joe Zepecki, the campaign director for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke, wrote in an email.
“Why the sudden change of course after 3 years of DPI (the state Department of Public Instruction) working on implementing these standards?” Zepecki told the Associated Press.
Walker, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, joins other prominent Republicans who have called for the standards to be spiked. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was first to sign legislation revoking Common Core in April, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed executive orders blocking tests tied to the standards.