Jindal Sued for Pulling State from Common Core

by Eliana Johnson

A group of Common Core supporters on Tuesday sued Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, arguing that he violated the state constitution and has “sown chaos in the educational system” by withdrawing Louisiana from Common Core. The plaintiffs, a group of parents, teachers, and a foundation that supports the national education standards, say Jindal usurped the power of the legislature when he announced he would use a series of executive orders to pull Louisiana out of Common Core. The Black Alliance for Educational Options has worked with the Jindal’s team to promote to promote vouchers and charter schools, but is a plaintiff in the lawsuit) has split with Jindal over the Common Core and joined the suit as a plaintiff.​

A Jindal spokesman told the Times-Picayune that the case has “no merit.”

The legal challenges are flying both ways: 17 Louisiana legislators on Monday filed a lawsuit to stop the implementation of Common Core, arguing that Louisiana’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and education superintendent John White failed to comply with state law when implementing Common Core and that the full text of the standards was not advertised to the public properly before their implementation began.

Jindal was one of the earliest supporters of the standards when they were introduced in 2010 but has said he changed his mind because of the unanticipated federal intrusion that has come with them; he now says Common Core constitutes a federal takeover of education. State officials – Jindal appointees and fellow Republicans chief among them – dispute his ability to withdraw the state from Common Core. The two sides have for weeks now been at a standstill; White maintains that Louisiana will plow ahead with the implementation of the standards. 

The Department of Education voted earlier this month to hire legal counsel, an indication that it too is willing to go to court to buck Jindal, but it has yet to do so. I wrote about the implications of that vote and the larger battle here