Mississippi FREE, an organization dedicated to improving Mississippi’s educational system and repealing the Common Core curriculum standards, celebrated Governor Phil Bryant’s recent veto of the controversial SB 2161. SB 2161 was listed as a bill to replace the failed Common Core initiative that Mississippi had adopted in an attempt to get a Race to the Top education grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment act of 2009, commonly known as the “Stimulus Package.” However, SB 2161 did little more than rename the standards and create a new organization to make tests to implement the Common Core standards in Mississippi. All curriculum changes would have remained in place. Mississippi FREE argues that if this bill had gone into law, it would have been nearly impossible to actually repeal Common Core next year.
At the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, Governor Phil Bryant made it clear that he intended to repeal the Common Core standards. At a rally in front of the capital sponsored by MS FREE, Bryant told the people that he would repeal, not rename, the controversial curriculum changes. Tate Reeves, lieutenant governor, also said that he supported repealing Common Core. However, as the 2015 legislative session unfolded it became clear that Tate Reeves only intended to rename the standards while leaving all changes in place. SB 2161 was designed to do just that. While it was listed as “repealing Common Core,” it would have made no substantive changes. Governor Bryant’s veto of this bill paves the way for a full repeal next year.