December 5, 2014 9:51:44 AM
Gov. Phil Bryant gets an A for his political skills. He's very good at appealing to his base and is a shoo-in to win a second term in 2015.
But when it comes to the Mississippi Constitution, Bryant's grade is not as high.
The governor said Tuesday that he wants to eliminate or at least change the Common Core education curriculum, even if the new state superintendent of education wants to keep it.
"What the superintendent needs to understand is that she's not in charge of public education in Mississippi. The public is," Bryant said.
The governor's "power to the people" stand is admirable. But it is in conflict with the state Constitution. An amendment -- approved by the people -- established a Board of Education, which has set policies for public schools since 1984.
Board of Education members are nominated by the governor, lieutenant governor and House speaker. The Senate must confirm them. The board picks the state superintendent, who also must be confirmed by the Senate.
Bryant is entitled to oppose Common Core or anything else. But the people, by approving a constitutional amendment, agreed to let the Board of Education and its superintendent handle school policy. The governor at least ought to be able to acknowledge that.
If he's determined to get rid of Common Core, the way to do it is by nominating board of education members who will vote for what he wants. Off-the-cuff "who's in charge" remarks play well politically but ignore reality.
The (McComb) Enterprise Journal
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