Congressman Wilson and S.C. Superintendent Spearman Hold Press Conference To Restore Local Control Over Education

Jan 26, 2015
Press Release

(Columbia, SC) – Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) and South Carolina Superintendent of Education, Molly Spearman, today held a joint press conference at the State House to discuss efforts to restore local control over education. Wilson issued the following statement regarding his bill, the Local Control of Education Act, which he will introduce today in the House of Representatives. This bill prohibits the federal government from mandating that states adopt a specific curriculum or set of academic standards, such as the Common Core State Standards:

“The quality of our children’s education is too high a priority to rely on a one-size-fits-all approach,” Wilson said. “What works in New York or California may not work here in South Carolina, and the federal government’s overreach into our state’s school system is unprecedented.

“Over the past several years, the Obama Administration has used a combination of education grants and waivers to coerce states into adopting Common Core State Standards, which has increased federal control over our schools’ instructional content, academic standards, and assessments. Currently, states that have adopted these standards face losing their waivers should they choose to repeal Common Core – meaning states and the taxpayer dollars they depend on are held at the mercy of bureaucrats in Washington.

“My bill would return control over education to the states by prohibiting the federal government from using grants or waivers to mandate, incentivize, or coerce states into adopting Common Core. For states that have already adopted Common Core, it would ensure that any previous requirements for waivers would be void, and the U.S. Secretary of Education would be prohibited from requiring states to agree to any new conditions in order to keep their existing waiver.

“South Carolina elected school board members and administrators, working together with teachers and parents, are best suited to manage our state’s education system. I have full faith and confidence in my good friend, Molly Spearman, who is leading the effort in our state to create college and career ready standards that work best for our South Carolina students. I stand behind her in this process, and I will do everything I can in Congress to support her efforts to improve education for our children.”

South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said:

“I am proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with my former General Assembly colleague Joe Wilson, along with friends from the South Carolina House and Senate (TBD).  We all firmly support local and state control over public education and reject efforts by the federal government to dictate how we run our schools.  Like Congressman Wilson, I have great faith in the teachers and administrators across our state who care for our students every day.  I trust the judgment of our locally-elected school board members, who work with parents and community leaders to create safe, successful, high-achieving schools throughout South Carolina.

“Now is the time for us to come together with a united message: in order to innovate, lead, and teach our students, we need less from Washington, not more.”

Wilson’s bill, the Local Control of Education Act, currently has 36 original cosponsors, including: Reps. Walter Jones (NC-03), Mo Brooks (AL-05), Reid Ribble (WI-08), Steven Palazzo (MS-04), Mick Mulvaney (SC-05), Ron DeSantis (FL-06), Steve King (IA-04), Alan Nunnelee (MS-01), Kenny Marchant (TX-24), Robert Pittenger (NC-09), Curt Clawson (FL-19), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Tim Walberg (MI-07), David Rouzer (NC-07), Bob Gibbs (OH-07), Tom Rice (SC-07), John Moolenaar (MI-04), Brian Babin (TX-36), Tom Rooney (FL-17), Stephen Fincher (TN-08), Steve Pearce (NM-02), Bruce Westerman (AR-04), Michael Burgess (TX-26), Paul Cook (CA-08), Ryan Zinke (MT), Mia Love (UT-04), Trey Gowdy (SC-04), Bill Flores (TX-17), Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Matt Salmon (AZ-05), Barry Loudermilk (GA-11), Mike Kelly (PA-03), Frank Guinta (NH-01), Lee Zeldin (NY-01), Mike Pompeo (KS-04), and Richard Hudson (NC-08).

Senator David Vitter (R-LA) has introduced companion legislation (S.73) in the U.S. Senate.