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The Voter’s Speakeasy featuring unbiased reporting and insight into life at Vote Smart from our staff, interns, and volunteers.

Getting to the Core of Common Core

2016 June 01

Heard of Common Core, but not sure what it is? Curious about how states receive federal funding for education? Below, we break down this hot-button issue, and provide the 2016 presidential candidates’ stances towards Common Core.   

What is the Debate over Common Core?
There is a lot of contention around the national set of education standards, known as Common Core. These standards are used by teachers and school staff to design lesson plans, as an assessment of student achievement at the end of each grade, and as a benchmark for students to reach.

It is important to note that states are not forced to comply with Common Core - Alaska, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Indiana, Virginia, South Carolina, Minnesota, and the U.S territory of Puerto Rico have not fully adopted these standards. However, all other states and U.S territories have adopted Common Core state standards. States that adopt the standards receive more opportunities for federal competitive grants.

Can the federal government tell states how to educate its students? Should they require states to adopt national standards in order to have more opportunities for federal funding? These are the questions that many politicians are debating, making Common Core a heated issue in the 2016 election.

Current Federal Funding for Education:
The underlying issue surrounding Common Core is federal funding of public schools. There are a myriad of federal programs that are funding public schools throughout America, and they have been for some time.

Some of these include Title I, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education ...

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