Myth Vs. Fact

Vitter Gets Facts Wrong on Useless, Redundant Amendment

During the Senate’s vote-a-rama on their 2016 Budget Resolution, Sen. Vitter (R-LA) offered an amendment that would ensure states can opt-out of Common Core without any penalty from the federal government. In his press release celebrating the amendment’s passage, he said: “The Obama administration granted states that adopted Common Core standards waivers from No Child Left Behind mandates. Vitter’s legislation would ensure that any state with an existing waiver will keep its No Child Left Behind waiver without penalty if the state opts out of Common Core. His bill would also make these states eligible for Race to the Top grant funding, which has only been offered to states in compliance with Common Core standards.”


Refuting the claim:
Unfortunately, the senior Senator from Louisiana is as misinformed on the issue as the current governor he is seeking to replace. To start with, there are several states, including Louisiana’s neighbor Texas, that have an NCLB waiver and have not adopted Common Core. Moreover, adoption of Common Core was never a requirement of Race to the Top funding. Finally, the very Congress where Senator Vitter currently serves recently stopped all funding for the Race to the Top program, meaning that no state, whether or not they have adopted Common Core, will be able to get additional funds.

Given the fact that Common Core has always been a voluntary effort, and that no state that has faced any federal “penalty” simply for opting out of Common Core, Senator Vitter’s amendment is less about policy and more about political theater.