In a lawsuit filed Thursday in 3rd District Court, the libertarian group Libertas Institute alleged the Utah school board violated state law by adopting the common core state standards. And the group says the governor’s recent call to investigate the standards will likely overlook that violation.
Libertas President Connor Boyack’s organization and others have vocally opposed Common Core, citing federal overreach, social engineering and the quality of the standards. But Boyack says those concerns are unrelated to the latest challenge he’s waging against the Utah State Board of Education.
“What we’re concerned about though for purposes of this lawsuit is the process that was followed in getting to it,” Boyack says. “If at the end of the day through all that consulting, through the public comment period and through a very deliberative process, everyone comes together and says, you know what common core is the greatest thing since sliced bread, okay, then fine, it will have been an informed decision.”
Boyack says the state school board failed to seek adequate input from the education community before adopting the controversial Common Core standards back in 2010. State school board member and former board chair Debra Roberts denies this was a violation of state law.
In an effort to quell concerns, Utah Governor Gary Herbert has launched an investigation into the standards. As part of that inquiry, he’s asked Attorney General Sean Reyes to find out if the state has relinquished any local control by adopting Common Core. Again, Connor Boyack.
“Nothing would constrain Attorney General Reyas from looking at this more broadly,” Boyack says. “But at least the request he’s received from the governor is a very narrow one, looking only at that federal issue. Our lawsuit is looking entirely at a state only issue.”
Boyack adds the governor’s review committee is not a sincere inquiry and the outcome will not be impartial as key members of the review committee are in favor of the standards.
Marty Carpenter, a spokesperson for Utah Governor Gary Herbert says he’s unable to comment on the specifics of the lawsuit.