Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott is seeking donations from supporters so he can "crush" the Common Core State Standards.
Abbott, a Republican who is running against Democratic state Senator Wendy Davis, has consistently stated he will not allow the Common Core -- a controversial set of math and reading benchmarks that have been adopted in most states -- to come to Texas. This week, his campaign sent out an email asking for contributions. The message stated, “We must crush Common Core,” the Houston Chronicle reports.
Texas has never adopted the Standards.
“Help Greg Abbott ensure that President Obama’s Common Core stays OUT of the Lone Star State by making a contribution today,” said the email from campaign staffer Lynn Haueter, according to the outlet. “We can’t let the Obama Administration get its hands on Texas schools.”
According to Legal Newsline, the email also said: “Greg Abbott has a record of fighting to keep Common Core away from our state – because as parents, we know what’s best for our children … His plan returns genuine local control to our education system and will make Texas first in the nation in education."
While the federal government incentivized states to adopt the Common Core, the standards were nonetheless adopted voluntarily. They have increasingly come under fire from conservative politicians who see them as an example of federal overreach. In recent weeks, several states that originally adopted the benchmarks have reversed course.
Abbott, who's the current state attorney general, confirmed that Texas cannot adopt Common Core in a ruling last month.
The Texas Legislature previously passed a law outlawing the state from adopting the Common Core State Standards. When Abbott was asked by a state lawmaker about clarification on the law, Abbott wrote that although “Texas school districts are required to provide instruction in the essential knowledge and skills at appropriate grade levels … they may not use the Common Core State Standards Initiative to comply with this requirement,” according to the Houston Chronicle.
Texas first refused to adopt the Common Core State Standards in 2009. At the time, former Education Commissioner Robert Scott expressed disapproval for the standards.
“This effort can be seen as a step toward a federal takeover of the nation’s public schools,” Scott wrote in a letter to the state’s congressional delegation, according to the Texas Tribune. “I believe that the true intention of this effort is to establish one set of national education standard and national tests across the country.”