Feds threaten Oregon over Common Core

The threat is over a bill that would make it easier for parents to opt out

An elementary school student takes notes during instruction. Next year, students will be tested on the Common Core curriculum, although they have had little to no preparation. (KOIN)
An elementary school student takes notes during instruction. Next year, students will be tested on the Common Core curriculum, although they have had little to no preparation. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The U.S. Department of Education has sent the state of Oregon a letter, threatening to pull federal funding if Oregon lawmakers pass a bill making it easier for parents to opt out their children from standardized tests.

The state could lose more than $140-million a year if the bill passes, maybe up to $325-million. Representative Lew Frederick is a supporter of the bill. He says losing funding has always been a thought but he tells KOIN 6 News, Oregon isn’t the only state fighting standardized testing.

“The bill doesn’t say get rid of the test.” said Frederick. “The bill says simply, here is a procedure for opting out of the test if parents come forward and want to opt out, that’s all it says.”

Toya Fick with Stand for Children Oregon is worried the threat is real and is against House Bill 2655.

“Those funds go to very needy schools and children to pay for many things, literacy programs, second half of full day kindergarten, other things that really help insure our kids are on the path to success.” said Fick.

There is some disagreement whether this is a legitimate threat. The Portland Association of Teachers said there is no way the feds would really pull funding and they call it a scare tactic. The State Superintendent of Public Education thinks the threat is legitimate and the feds could pull the money.

The senate is scheduled to vote on the bill Wednesday.

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