He ran against Common Core, but few who knew of his political ties believed him, now Governor Doug Ducey has finally admitted his opposition to the federal standards was simply a Republican primary campaign ploy. This morning, Ducey told the State Board of Education that he opposes HB2190, which would have replaced the standards with those created for Arizona’s children by Arizona educators.
According to Capitol watchers, Ducey needed the Legislature’s help to ram through his anti-public school budget, so he told lawmakers he would be supportive of the bill.
Now, that the budget was passed in a midnight session, and HB2190 is winning wider support, he had no choice but to try to kill it before the whole Senate is able to vote on it this week or next.
Capitol Media Services is reporting that Ducey wants the state Board of Education to thoroughly review the Common Core school standards but is not calling for them to be scrapped immediately.
One lawmaker called the move “political suicide” for Ducey, but added that the chambers of commerce will spend whatever it takes to protect him now that he has protected their Common Core scheme. That same lawmaker questioned, “Who is crazier? Dian Douglas or Doug Ducey?”
Ducey and newly elected Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas have been feuding since both took office this past January. He wrestled control of the State Board of Education away from Douglas with a provision tucked into the budget bill.
Another lawmaker questioned why Ducey wasn’t merely honest about his plans and spared lawmakers the energy it took to craft through amendments a bill that satisfied many and resolved concerns about replacing the standards.
HB2190 sponsor Rep. Mark Finchem said, “He’s the Governor, he owns this now.”