Fox News –
Tea Party groups are barnstorming state capitals across the country to stop an Obama administration-backed initiative to impose federal math and English education standards on public schools.
Though conservatives have long argued that state and local officials can best make decisions on K-12 education, the Tea Party’s opposition to the federal program — Common Core State Standards — represents a pivot for the movement, which started in 2009 to promote lower taxes and smaller government. And they are making gains, as some states consider putting the program on hold.
“We have a renewed sense of vigor,” Lee Ann Burkholder, founder of the 9/12 Patriots in York, Pa., told FoxNews.com. “And when it comes to your kids or grandkids, people really get fired up.”
The Tea Party is already riled up following revelations that the IRS had been singling out its groups over the past few years.
On the education issue, Burkholder said her group held a meeting this spring that attracted 400 people, double the usual number. The meeting was followed by a bus trip to the state capital in which members wore matching T-shirts and pressed their case to lawmakers.
Groups have pressured state legislatures and school boards from Michigan to Georgia to drop their support or defund the bipartisan-backed program they’ve dubbed “ObamaCore,” putting heat on Republican governors in particular. It’s not so much the actual standards they object to but the fact that it’s coming from Washington as opposed to the state level, and could lead to tracking student data across the country.
Lawmakers, include several seeking reelection, have taken notice, especially after hearing about Tea Party groups vowing to back challengers to those who continue to support Common Core.
Seven state legislatures purportedly have proposed legislation to at least delay implementation. And two states with Republican governors — Indiana and Pennsylvania — have put the program on hold.