Common Core opponents: Hear our bills

Published March 9, 2014

State Education Commissioner Pam Stewart is moving full steam ahead with Florida Standards, the new education benchmarks based on the Common Core State Standards.

But Common Core opponents aren't giving up the fight.

One group, Florida Parents Against Common Core, plans to protest Sunday afternoon, outside a private fundraising event being held for Gov. Rick Scott on Jupiter Island.

"Our intent is to send a loud and clear message to the governor and leadership," the organizers of the protest wrote in a press release. "We want HB 25 and SB 1316 to be heard in the education committees. Committees will only be meeting for two more weeks and time is of the essence."

HB 25 and SB 1316 seek to prohibit Florida from fully implementing the new standards.

Neither proposal seems to be getting any traction, though the Senate bill by Sen. Greg Evers, R-Pensacola, has picked up two additional co-sponsors: Republican Sens. Alan Hays, of Umatilla, and Lizbeth Benacquisto, of Ft. Myers.

The House bill by Rep. Debbie Mayfield, R-Vero Beach, now has six co-sponsors: Republican Reps. Ray Pilon, of Sarasota; Travis Hutson, of Elkton; Matt Caldwell, of Lehigh Acres; Charles Van Zant, of Keystone Heights; Dane Eagle, of Cape Coral; and Doug Broxson, of Midway.

The Sunday protest is scheduled to take place near the home of Julie and Amin Khoury, who are hosting roundtable discussion and barbecue to raise money for Scott.

Common Core opponents also plan to demonstrate in Tallahassee on March 13.

The planned protests come just weeks after the Republican Party of Florida Legislative Affairs Committee took an official position that the state ought to cease further implementation of the Florida Standards.

The group is encouraging Scott to take executive action if the Legislature does not act.

State education officials are moving forward with the standards anyway.

Stewart has said she will select a vendor to create state assessments based on the Florida Standards this month.