The first major legal action challenging Common Core was tossed out Monday by a state district judge.
The lawsuit, which was filed in July, was dismissed by 19th Judicial District Judge Tim Kelley, of Baton Rouge.
It was initiated by 17 anti-Common Core state lawmakers and later joined by Gov. Bobby Jindal, who also opposes the overhaul.
They argued that the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the state Department of Education failed to follow the Administrative Procedures Act, or APA, when it endorsed the standards.
By doing so, critics said, state officials skipped a required step that would have allowed for vital public input.
State Superintendent of Education John White said the lawsuit was dismissed because it was not filed within a required two-year window after the standards were approved, which was 2010. “It is clear in the law that if two years go by, then the rules stand,” he told reporters.
White also renewed his criticism of efforts to derail Common Core, which he said would return the state to 2004 academic standards. “Today’s ruling should be a reminder that there is no legal basis and no academic basis for an extremist plan,” White told reporters.
In a prepared statement, Jindal said he was disappointed in Kelley’s decision.
“The Administrative Procedures Act ensures that before agencies adopt rules and regulations, they get input from stakeholders and the public,” according to the statement.
“BESE did not follow this public process before adopting Common Core.”
Jindal added, “We are also pursuing legislation to make clear that public agencies must follow the APA before adopting rules and regulations.”
The lawsuit, which was filed in July, is one of several brought by both sides in the 19-month fight over Common Core.
A separate ruling, issued in August, paved the way for the standards and assessments that go with them to proceed for the 2014-15 school year.
State Rep. Brett Geymann, R-Lake Charles, one of the plaintiffs and a top critic of Common Core, said the ruling will be appealed.
“The public was denied the democratic process,” Geymann said, a reference to hearings and other steps that he said should have been held before the standards were finalized.
BESE President Chas Roemer, who lives in Baton Rouge and is a Common Core backer, praised the ruling.
He said state educators have worked for years to improve student achievement.
“Those plans should not be derailed by meaningless lawsuits nor by bureaucratic attempts on the part of the administration and a few extreme legislators to go back in time dragging our state, teachers and students with them,” Roemer said in a prepared statement.
Jindal earlier this month spelled out his two-prong legislative plan to remove Common Core, and the tests that go with it, from Louisiana.
Part of his effort would target the APA.
The 2015 regular legislative session begins on April 13.
Efforts to shelve Common Core are expected to be one of the key topics.
White, who backs Common Core, has repeatedly clashed with the governor over the merits of the academics overhaul.
Common Core has been part of public school classrooms since August, and nearly 320,000 students in grades three through eight were tested on the standards earlier this month.
The new classroom guidelines apply to reading, writing and math.
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