IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Opponents to the Common Core standards held a public meeting Thursday night in Bonneville County. The Centennial Room at the courthouse was full of concerned citizens and parents from Eastern Idaho. Their meeting was aimed against Common Core and what they say appears to be a federal takeover of education in Idaho.
But it just so happens, that State Superintendent Tom Luna was in Eastern Idaho Thursday other engagements. Before the meeting, Eyewitness News anchor Todd Kunz had the opportunity to ask Luna about this and discussed the idea that federal dollars lie behind Common Core.
"We're not receiving any extra funds because we've adopted these. We did not receive federal funds if we would adopt them. And if we were to walk away from these standards tomorrow, we would not lose any of our federal funding. So this hasn't been, you know, this isn't an enticement of federal dollars that has gotten us to consider these standards," said Luna.
Stephanie Gifford, one of the organizers of Idahoans Against Common Core, disagrees.
"That's not true. We received $350 million from the stimulus fund specifically for education in Idaho under the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund and in order to get that money, we had to guarantee to adopt common standards, common assessments, new data systems, and equity in teacher distribution," said Gifford.
Co-organizer, Emilee Murdoch agrees with Gifford.
"And the assessments are almost 100 percent funded by the federal government," said Murdoch.
The crowd, and some of the people that Eyewitness News spoke with, was comprised of doctors, educators, parents, and even a couple students.