Kansas Senate Attacks Common Core Standards

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- A proposal designed to block Kansas public schools from using multistate reading and math standards has been approved by the state Senate.

Senators added the proposal attacking the Common Core standards to a school funding plan on a 27-12 vote Thursday night.

The measure bars the spending of tax dollars on implementing the standards through June 2017.

The State Board of Education adopted the standards as the state's own in 2010. They've been under attack from conservative Republican legislators since.

The standards were an initiative of governors' and education commissioners' associations. Supporters say they'll improve teaching nationwide.

Opponents see them as amounting to federal standards because federal officials have encouraged their use. Critics also say they cost states and local districts control over their courses

The Republican-dominated Kansas Senate also rejected a Democratic proposal for increasing aid to the state's poor public school districts.

The Senate voted 29-11 against a proposal from Minority Leader Anthony Hensley to boost aid to poor districts by $129 million annually. Hensley proposed using the state's cash reserves to cover the cost.

Hensley offered the proposal as an amendment to a school funding plan from GOP leaders. After it failed, senators continued debating the Republican plan.

The GOP plan also boosts aid to poor districts by $129 million to comply with a Kansas Supreme Court order last month. But the Republican proposal also trims other types of aid to all districts to offset the cost.

Hensley wanted to jettison all other provisions in the GOP plan.

Here is a video demonstrating the difference between standard and common core math concepts.

Posted by: Nick Viviani and Greg Palmer