Gov. Deal asserts state independence over education

Gov. Nathan Deal signed an executive order Wednesday affirming Georgia’s rights over how to educate its children free from federal interference.

But Deal also maintained his support for Common Core standards, which are a set of minimum math and English requirements adopted by Georgia and 44 other states.

Deal’s executive order says that no educational standards may be enforced by the federal government, and the order bars invasive tracking of student religious and demographic data. That kind of tracking is not currently in place, and the order prevents it from being enacted.

“We are concerned about the future of education in the state of Georgia,” Deal said at a Capitol news conference. “Curriculum has been and will remain a local decision.”

Deal sought to clarify that standards are not the same as curriculums, which are decided by individual school boards throughout Georgia.

He was joined by state Superintendent John Barge, who backs the Common Core standards, and Republican legislators on both sides of the issue.