Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina
Today I’m thinking about the long list of heroes and freedom fighters whose names I didn’t even know five months ago, when I became introduced to the words “Common Core.” Topping the list are Senator Mike Fair of South Carolina, who, together with Governor Nikki Haley, took a valiant stand against Common Core, a move I pray Governor Herbert will follow.
Senator Fair said that by adopting Common Core, his state had “sold our educational birthright without getting the mess of pottage,” and because of this, he wrote a bill to reverse his state’s adoption of the common movement.
S. 604 was Fair’s bill, which would have prevented the Common Core State Standards from being imposed on the state. The bill was not passed. It said:
The State Board may not adopt and the State Department may not implement the Common Core State Standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Any actions taken to adopt or implement the Common Core State Standards as of the effective date of this section are void ab initio.
Even though Fair and Haley’s efforts to reclaim educational freedom for South Carolina didn’t succeed right away, these efforts serve as an inspiration to those of us in other states who want to reclaim the same freedom. Nikki Haley wrote an open letter to Senator Fair, supporting his efforts, that explains so much:
Dear Senator Fair
South Carolina’s educational system has at times faced challenges of equity, quality and leadership – challenges that cannot be solved by increasing our dependence on federal dollars and the mandates that come with them.
Just as we should not relinquish control of education to the Federal government, neither should we cede it to the consensus of other states.
Confirming my commitment to finding South Carolina solutions to South Carolina challenges, I am pleased to support your efforts to reverse the 2010 decision to adopt common core standards.
While I understand and agree with looking outside South Carolina for ideas to improve educational outcomes, I firmly believe that our government and our people should retain as much local control over programs as possible.
The solution to many of South Carolina’s educational challenges will be found by sending more of our limited resources to the classroom and offering educational choices to meet the needs of South Carolina’s students. Our children deserve swift action and the passage of a clean resolution that will allow our State to reclaim control of and responsibility for educating South Carolinians.
Thank you for the important work you have done on this issue; please let me know if I may be of further assistance.