The U.S. Department of Education recently denied Oklahoma’s request for a waiver from No Child Left Behind due to Oklahoma’s rejection of the “voluntary” Common Core program. Michael Farris published an articletoday in which he explains how Oklahomans can fight this blatant, politically-motivated overreach by the Department of Education. We’ve published an excerpt below, but you can read the full article here.
While the Supreme Court has recognized that the federal government cannot directly regulate education, the Court has also ruled that Congress’ power to tax and spend under the General Welfare Clause is unlimited. Congress is therefore free to take money from the taxpayers of Oklahoma, and then offer it back if the state gives Congress control of its schools.
The Common Core battle also raises the fundamental issue of who makes federal law. The Founders thought they had settled the question, declaring in Article I, Section 1 that all federal laws must be made by Congress. Yet Oklahoma is being punished for violating mere administrative decisions of the Obama Administration.
What can Oklahoma do?
Article V of the Constitution gives the state legislatures the means to unilaterally propose amendments to the Constitution that can remedy these modern perversions of our federal system. Earlier this year, the legislatures of Georgia, Florida, and Alaska passed resolutions calling for a Convention of States under Article V for the express purpose of proposing amendments to rein in our runaway federal government. Senator Tom Coburn has endorsed the Convention of States project, because he agrees that this is the only way to correct these problems.