For Immediate Release: March 2, 2016
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, (804) 225-4260, Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov

Governor McAuliffe Vetoes Legislation Unnecessarily Infringing on Board of Education’s Authority to Maintain High Education Standards

 

Yesterday Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed House Bill 259, which prohibits the Board of Education from replacing the Standards of Learning with the Common Core Standards.

In a statement explaining his veto, the Governor indicated that the bill is unnecessary in light of the fact that Virginia’s Standards of Learning (SOL) already exceed the rigor of the Common Core State Standards. The Governor also objected to the limitations the bill places on the Virginia Board of Education’s ability to make the best possible decisions about student standards. The Governor’s full statement is below:

March 1, 2016

Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto House Bill 259, which prohibits the Board of Education from replacing the Standards of Learning with the Common Core State Standards.

The Commonwealth led the nation nearly two decades ago in the development of statewide educational standards. Virginia's education system is one of the best in the world because of this innovative work. Currently, our state standards meet or exceed the rigor of the Common Core State Standards, while maintaining our independence.

In June of 2010, the Board of Education echoed this sentiment by unanimously adopting a statement in support of the Standards of Learning (SOL) and voicing opposition to the Common Core State Standards.

Virginia's institutions and leaders have made it abundantly clear that adopting the Common Core State Standards would be a step backwards.  Clear, rigorous, and trusted standards are necessary to ensure that Virginia's students will be prepared to compete in the 21st century.  We are also continuing to improve our accountability system through the work of the SOL Innovation Committee.

However, while I remain opposed to adopting the Common Core State Standards, I am equally opposed to infringing on the Board's authority by adopting unnecessary legislation which establishes rules upon which we have already agreed.

Given that neither I nor the Board of Education have any intention of replacing the Standards of Learning with the Common Core State Standards, House Bill 259 is unnecessary.

Accordingly, I veto this bill.

Sincerely,

 

Terence R. McAuliffe

 

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