James Votes for Measure Passed by House Urging Local Control of Education Standards

HARRISBURG – Rep. Lee James (R-Venango/Butler) today voted for a resolution approved by the state House urging the Pennsylvania secretary of education and the State Board of Education to refrain from establishing required reading lists for Pennsylvania students, imposing a statewide curriculum or subjecting Commonwealth students to a national standardized assessment.

“We should maintain as much authority as possible at the local level when it comes to public education in Pennsylvania,” James said.  “Every student in Pennsylvania deserves a quality education.  However, the best way to provide that education may vary based on location.  What works in one corner of the Commonwealth may not be the best approach for students in another area.”

The debate hinges on Pennsylvania’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards, a set of education standards developed by the National Governors Association and top education officials from states across the nation.

Some Pennsylvania residents have raised issues about protecting the sovereignty of local school officials to establish standards instead of ceding it to an multi-state organization.

“I believe there is a legitimate concern over relinquishing too much local control and it’s something we need to be wary of doing,” James said.  “While I’m new to office and wasn’t here when the Common Core standards were being developed, I’m here now and I’m going to try to protect local control.”

House Resolution 338 also would urge the Pennsylvania secretary of education and State Board of Education to ensure the Commonwealth’s academic standards are rigorous, are not burdensome and avoid intruding on student and family privacy.

“I understand that this issue raises passions among students, parents, teachers and administrators,” James said.  “It should raise passions.  We are talking about the future of our schools, students and Commonwealth.”

Representative Lee James
64th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact:  Dan Massing
RepJames.com / Facebook.com/RepLeeJames
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