Lawsuit: Taxpayer Funding of Common Core Unconstitutional
Two anti-Common Core activists in Missouri have joined in filing a lawsuit against state officials that challenges the state’s payment of taxpayer funds to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), one of the two federally funded multi-state groups that are developing tests aligned with the Common Core standards.
Gretchen Logue and Anne Gassel of the Missouri Coalition Against Common Core have joined former Republican gubernatorial candidate Fred N. Sauer as plaintiffs in the suit against Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D), Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), the Missouri State Board of Education, and other state officials.
The lawsuit alleges that SBAC is “an unconstitutional interstate compact that was not approved by Congress, in violation of the Compact Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 3, Clause 10,” wrote Gassel at Missouri Education Watchdog, which she co-edits along with Logue. “The suit also alleges that Governor Nixon and Commissioner Nicastro’s course of conduct in committing Missouri to Common Core was in violation of numerous federal and state statutes.”
“According to public records, the [Missouri] Department of Elementary and Secondary Education plans to send millions of dollars of taxpayer funds to the Smarter Balanced consortium in 2015, which will be used to support the implementation of Common Core in numerous other states,” Gassel added. “These payments are illegal under the federal constitution, federal statutes, and Missouri state law.”
The petition specifically claims:
…Since 2009, Governor Nixon and Commissioner Nicastro have engaged in a course of conduct that would have ceded Missouri’s sovereignty over educational policy within its borders to SBAC, an interstate consortium operating under the influence of federal regulators located in Washington, DC. Congress never sanctioned the interstate compact that created this consortium. The Missouri legislature, responding to Missouri voters, largely repudiated the work of this consortium by enacting HB 1490 in 2014 by massive veto-proof margins. Notwithstanding this legislative action, Missouri is poised to contribute millions of dollars of taxpayer funds during Fiscal Year 2015 to support this illegal interstate compact…
“Plaintiffs, as Missouri taxpayers, will suffer harm if such taxpayer funds are disbursed before these controversies are resolved by the Court,” the petition adds.
“Our lawsuit claims that the two interstate ‘consortia’ that are implementing the Common Core-aligned tests in dozens of states, SBAC and PARCC, are unconstitutional interstate compacts that Congress never authorized,” Logue told Breitbart News. “We hope all states that are members of either consortium will realize that they have no legally binding commitments to these illegal entities, and that SBAC and PARCC are legally null and void.”