BATON ROUGE, La. – A pair of anti-Common Core bills were defeated yesterday in the Louisiana House Education Committee, and nobody knows if Gov. Bobby Jindal is upset or pleased with the results.
TheNewOrleansAdvocate.com reports Jindal gave “last-minute support” to a measure that would have created “a 30-member commission to draft new academic goals, which would then require approval of the Legislature.”
Despite the endorsement, the Republican governor – who is believed to be considering a presidential bid in 2016 – offered no explanation why he supported the legislation, House Bill 381. Various media reports describe Jindal’s position on the anti-Common Core bill as guarded and confusing.
The governor had plenty of opportunity to make his position known. Testimony and debate around HB 381 reportedly went on for seven hours.
“Jindal’s position on the volatile topic has been unclear for weeks, and no one from his staff testified” in favor of the bill, TheNewOrleansAdvocate.com reports.
The news site adds that Jindal’s support of HB 381 put him directly at odds with John White, his “hand-picked state Superintendent of Education … who blasted the anti-Common Core measure as detrimental to children.”
Adding to the confusion is the fact that Jindal “had previously supported Common Core’s implementation in the state,” reports NOLA.com.
Voters would like to know where their governor stands on Common Core, which NOLA.com describes as “one of the highest-profile issues of the Louisiana legislative session.”
Could it be that Jindal is still undecided about the K-12 overhaul, even though it’s been around since 2009?
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Or is it more likely that the governor is trying to be on both sides of the issue, so he can plausibly tell GOP primary voters (who tend to oppose Common Core) and political funders (who tend to support the standards) that he agrees with them?
That would be pretty conniving, even by politician standards.
If there’s a better explanation for Jindal’s unusual behavior, he should offer it – and soon. Louisiana voters would no doubt love to hear it.
The irony is that Jindal’s position on the anti-Common Core bill probably didn’t matter one way or the other. According to TheNewOrleansAdvocate.com, Common Core supporters appeared to have “the votes in the House to block the legislation if it had moved out of committee.”
Still, Jindal bungled the issue so badly that he ended up not pleasing either side in the growing debate. And that’s something he may live to regret – especially during the 2016 GOP primary debates.