Winter 2014 

Common Core

Common Core

In 2013, the Texas Legislature enacted House Bill 462, effective June 14, 2013. The bill 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 section 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 has requested the attorney general address whether a school district violates the law if it uses Common Core in any way to teach state standards. 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. LAF filed an amicus brief with the attorney general on January 21, 2014, explaining that the statement of legislative intent for HB 462, states that 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.
Most attorney general opinions are issued within 180 days of receipt of the request, so we can expect this opinion to be issued around June 20, 2014.
 
RQ-1175-GA. LAF’s Attorney: Kelli Karczewski, Karczewski | Bradshaw, LLP, Nacogdoches