Arizona Anti-Common Core Effort Grows

Published April 21, 2015

They call themselves the “Mommy Lobby,” and even after two anti-Common Core bills failed to become law in Arizona, the growing group of parents and grassroots activists vows to continue to fight Common Core until it’s repealed.

Gina Ray, a mother of four and member of the Mommy Lobby, says Gov. Doug Ducey (R) is responsible for the Common Core repeal-and-replace legislation not passing. Speaking during an Arizona Board of Education meeting in March, Ducey called House Bill 2190, which would have repealed and replaced Common Core, “unnecessary.”

“It sends the message to senators to kill the bill,” said Ray. “It seems like the governor is saying he doesn’t want it to come to his desk, [that] he wouldn’t sign it.

“I should feel really discouraged, but I really don’t, because I see more and more people waking up,” said Ray. “I do have this little lump in my throat. This is a sad little lump, but I don’t feel defeated, because the momentum is picking up.”

‘Feeling of Betrayal’

Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Pima County), who sponsored HB 2190, says he will continue to fight Common Core.

“While I am disappointed that the bill did not pass, my disappointment pales in comparison to the feeling of betrayal that southern Arizona voters have expressed over the actions of the Senate and the remarks from the governor,” Finchem said.

“My constituents are very dissatisfied with the outcome and are already gearing up to fight the special interests that worked overtime to kill the best chance we had to repeal and replace the Common Core program,” said Finchem.” We will have to see what comes of Gov. Ducey’s stated commitment to have the State Board of Education and the state superintendent refine the standards in the Common Core program. That said, HB 2190 was about much more than just standards. The bill also sought to force the shutdown of data harvesting [such as non-cognitive data], inappropriate data sharing, and more.”

‘They Aren’t Going Away’

Finchem says he thinks Arizona’s grassroots effort against Common Core will continue to grow.

“The Mommy Lobby is motivated, and they aren’t going away,” said Finchem. “The lobby will be a force to be reckoned with in the months and campaigns to come.

“It is likely this issue will be a major one in the next election cycle,” Finchem said.” I urge parents and teachers to look at what is happening in our education system and pay attention to the changes that they will see. Don’t settle for well-packaged corporate buzzwords and edu-babble.”

Heather Kays ([email protected]) is a research fellow with The Heartland Institute and is managing editor of School Reform News.

Image courtesy of Gina Ray.