Common Core

In 2013, the Texas Legislature enacted House Bill 462, effective June 14, 2013, which relates, in part, to a school district’s use of the national curriculum standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative, commonly known as “Common Core.”  The bill added subsection (b-3) to Texas Education Code 28.002, which states that “[a] school district may not use common core state standards to comply with the requirement to provide instruction in the [Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills or TEKS].”

Senator Dan Patrick requested the attorney general to address whether a school district violates the law if it uses Common Core in any way to teach state standards.  LAF argued in its brief that because Common Core standards and TEKS overlap, lesson plans that may have been originally designed to teach the Common Core are often used to teach the TEKS in Texas classrooms.  According to the statement of legislative intent for HB 462, the bill was not intended to prevent the use of materials where the two standards may overlap, and indeed it would be impractical for a teacher to be prohibited from using such materials when teaching the TEKS.

The attorney general agreed with LAF, affirming that section 28.002(b-3) only prohibits a school district from using the Common Core State Standards Initiative to provide instruction in the essential knowledge and skills at appropriate grade levels.

GA-1067 (Texas Attorney General).  LAF’s Attorney:  Kelli Karczewski—Karczewski | Bradshaw, LLP, Nacogdoches