House committee votes down anti-Common Core bill

The House Education Committee rejected anti-Common Core legislation Wednesday, likely dealing a death blow to its chances of being passed this session.

Senate Bill 167, sponsored by Sen. William Ligon, R-Brunswick, would have prohibited Georgia from testing students on any set of national academic standards like Common Core. It would also have placed restrictions on how student data is collected and shared. The legislation would also have given local school districts the ability to essentially opt out of Common Core until the state Board of Education and an advisory panel completes a review of whether Georgia should remain in Common Core.

Ligon’s bill had passed the Senate with a vote of 34-16, and it had the support of Gov. Nathan Deal. But education groups lined up in opposition to the bill, arguing that it would force the state to go to a third set of academic standards in the past 10 years. They also said the bill would complicate the state’s new teacher evaluation system, threaten federal funding and limit academic research.

Committee members had worked on an amended version of SB 167, but Ligon held a press conference on Wednesday afternoon to announce his opposition to that version of his bill.

After Ligon spoke in favor of SB 167, the legislation earned the support of only five of the 18 members who voted.

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