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BESE says constitutional authority at stake with suit

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Posted: Jul 29, 2014 5:35 PM by Jason Newton
Updated: Jul 29, 2014 6:49 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: bese, lawsuit, jindal, common core

BATON ROUGE - While teachers and families prepare for classes to start in a couple of weeks, state leaders are swamped with lawsuits and political fights over the participation in Common Core.

The state's top school board voted Tuesday to join a lawsuit already filed against Governor Bobby Jindal and his effort to pull Louisiana out of the education standards.

BESE members said they're trying to retain their constitutional authority over education. The lawsuit was filed against Jindal last week by parents and educators.

"There has to be some decisions made now about what we teach in classrooms," said Debbie Meaux, president of the Louisiana Association of Educators, "what test these kids are accountable to."

The saga continues for now with no answer on what standards educators will use in a couple weeks. BESE voted 6-4 in favor of joining the existing lawsuit.

"In the lawsuit, they're going to be talking about about constitutional authority of BESE," said BESE President Chas Roemer. "We felt if they have that discussion, we should be in the room."

Members of Jindal's team with the Division of Administration promised the lawsuit will not be resolved anytime soon.

"Once in litigation, we'll fight and appeal if we lose on exceptions," said Elizabeth Murrill, with Division of Administration.

The governor moved unilaterally last month making executive orders to remove the state from Common Core. It's been a messy battle ever since as a majority of BESE and the state Superintendent of Education John White are fighting his orders. They said that they have the last word on education policy for the state..

"It's entered the court system. I hope the court can provide some clarity on steps to take," Roemer said.

The lawsuit will be heard in court August 18. BESE said it will have clear direction on what standardized tests students will take soon after that hearing. The law firm of Preis Gordon will represent BESE in the suit free of charge.

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