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Common Core repeal bill gets second hearing

COLUMBUS — A bill that would exclude Ohio from impending national education standards received a second hearing Wednesday before a gallery of vocal critics that filled a hearing and overflow rooms at the statehouse.

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Thomas Hunter, 12, of Worthington, testifies Wednesday before the House of Representatives education committee about the detrimental effects of national Common Core standards. (EXAMINER PHOTO | NATE SMITH)

Members of the Ohio House of Representatives’ Committee on Education pored over hours’ worth of written and oral testimony, mostly from opponents to the national standards known as Common Core, asserting the most recent federal directives on education are both substandard and too intrusive to students’ personal information.

Nine states and the District of Columbia have combined over two years to receive $4.35 billion in Race to the Top federal grant funds. Ohio’s allocation was about $400 million.

Participation in forthcoming national educational standards was contingent upon receiving Race to the Top funds two years ago and some of the uncertainty about House Bill 237 includes whether or not Ohio would have to pay back that money.

“A small price to pay when you’re talking about kids’ futures,” said Jim Burkholder, a Lakeview resident who organized a local caravan of Common Core opponents to attend Wednesday’s testimony in Columbus.

Mr. Burkholder helps organize the local Top of Ohio Patriots 9-12 group and is a long-time member of a Christian school board in Lima. According to written testimony he submitted to the committee, part of his concern is the impact on Christian education.

“It is clear to me ... that unless the Christian schools and the home schools choose to use the Common Core plan, their students will not be able to get into secondary schools because of low test scores,” he wrote. “He who controls the test, controls the minds of Ohio’s children.”

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