The Norman Transcript

State/Region

July 16, 2014

Oklahoma Supreme Court allows Common Core repeal

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the Legislature had the authority to repeal Common Core education standards for English and math in the state’s public schools.

The state’s highest court took the action a little more than four hours after attorneys presented oral arguments in a lawsuit that challenged the Legislature’s action.

The lawsuit alleged lawmakers violated the state Board of Education’s constitutional authority over the “supervision of instruction in the public schools” when they repealed Common Core standards earlier this year. But the Supreme Court’s 8-1 decision said the Legislature’s action was not unconstitutional.

The case was argued about a month before public school students across the state are scheduled to return to classrooms. The standards were scheduled to go into effect in the upcoming school year.

Attorney Robert McCampbell, who represents parents, teachers and four members of the seven-member Oklahoma Board of Education in the lawsuit, said he was “disappointed with the result” but respected the court’s decision. McCampbell said he was not surprised the court ruled so quickly.

“We had asked for it to be placed on the expedited docket and they granted that request,” he said.

House Speaker Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, said he was pleased with the decision. The legislation that repealed the standards also instructed the board to revert to educational standards in place before June 2010 and develop new state educational standards by 2016.

Gov. Mary Fallin said Oklahoma’s new education standards should be rigorous and capable of being “realistically integrated into the classroom.”

“Working together, I know that we can design Oklahoma standards that live up to a level of excellence our parents and students expect and deserve,” Fallin said.

During oral arguments, McCampbell argued the Legislature’s repeal of Common Core was unconstitutional and represented and “unprecedented expansion” of its powers.

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