Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Tuesday vetoed a bill that would have required the state Board of Education to seek approval from the General Assembly to adopt the Common Core, a set of national educational standards that Virginia rejected five years ago.
The bill came in response to fears that the state would attempt to adopt the standards, even though McAuliffe opposes them. Common Core, formulated by a bipartisan group of governors and state education chiefs and endorsed by the Obama administration, sought to bring some uniformity to the nation’s K-12 public education. Though widely adopted, some have argued that the standards amount to federal overreach, spurring backlash.
Virginia was one of just five states that rejected the standards in favor of its own standards, which state education officials have said are more rigorous.
State Del. David A. LaRock (R-Loudoun), one of the bill’s sponsors, said he believes any move to adopt the Common Core should get a sign-off from lawmakers, especially since changing state standards could be costly. There is currently no effort to get Virginia to adopt the Common Core.
“A decision of that magnitude should be made by the legislature,” LaRock said.
McAuliffe, who vetoed the bill Tuesday, said it would have placed unnecessary restrictions on the state’s board of education.
“Virginia’s institutions and leaders have made it abundantly clear that adopting the Common Core State Standards would be a step backwards,” McAuliffe said in a statement. “While I remain opposed to adopting the Common Core State Standards, I am equally opposed to infringing on the Board’s authority by adopting unnecessary legislation which establishes rules upon which we have already agreed.”