Louisiana Legislators Ask Court to Rule On Common Core



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July, 2014
FOR MORE INFORMATION
State Representative Brett Geymann
State Representative Cameron Henry

LEGISLATORS FILE COURT ACTION FOR RULING ON COMMON CORE.
 
Ask Court to Rule that BESE & DOE Failed to Enact New Education Standards under
Administrative Procedures Act; Enjoin Implementation.

Seventeen legislators have filed a court action in the 19th Judicial District, asking for a ruling on whether BESE and the Department of Education failed to properly enact the new Common Core academic standards under the Administrative Procedures Act, which governs rulemaking in all agencies of state government. 
The legislators contend that BESE and DOE never implemented the changes in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, which prescribes a specific process, requiring public notice, a 90 day comment period, open hearings  and legislative oversight.
The legislators point out that all changes to educational standards in the past were implemented properly under the APA as reflected in “Bulletins” published in the Louisiana Register that chronicle the current state of administrative law. There
are no Bulletins for Louisiana Educational standards more recent than November 2005.
 
The legislators are asking the 19th Judicial District Court to rule on this major oversight, and stipulate that BESE and  DOE failed to properly implement new educational standards under the Administrative Procedures Act.
(See petition below): 
CIVIL DISTRICT COURT FOR THE PARISH OF EAST BATON ROUGE
STATE OF LOUISIANA 
NO.__________ DIVISION____ SECTION: _____ 
JAMES ARMES, TERRY BROWN, HENRY BURNS, BRETT GEYMANN,
JOHNNY GUINN, LANCE HARRIS, JOE HARRISON, KENNY HAVARD, BOB   
HENSGENS, CAMERON HENRY, PAUL HOLLIS, BARRY IVEY, SAM JONES,ROGERS POPE, DEE RICHARD, JOHN SCHRODER, AND LANAR WHITNEY (A/K/A CONCERNED CITIZENS OF LOUISIANA)
V.
STATE OF LOUISIANA, THROUGH THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF
EDUCATION’S SUPERTINDENDANT, JOHN WHITE, AND THE LOUISIANA
STATE BOARD OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION 

FILED:______________________ ______________________________
DEPUTY CLERK​

PETITION TO SUSPEND IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF
“COMMON CORE” FOR FAILURE TO FOLLOW THE PROVISIONS OF
LOUISIANA LAW, AND FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 
NOW INTO COURT, through undersigned counsel, come the Petitioners, James
Armes, Terry Brown, Henry Burns, Brett Geyman, Johnny Guinn, Lance Harris, Joe
Harrison, Kenny Havard, Bob Hensgens, Cameron Henry, Paul Hollis, Barry Ivey, Sam
Jones, Rogers Pope, Dee Richard, John Schroder, and Lanar Whitney (collectively
hereinafter “Concerned Citizens of Louisiana”), who respectfully submit the following
Petition to Suspend Implementation and Enforcement of “Common Core State
Standards” (referred to herein as “Common Core”) for Failure to Follow the Provisions
of Louisiana Law and for Injunctive Relief:
1. Made defendants herein are:
(A) Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education,
(hereinafter referred to as “BESE”), which is a body corporate created by the Louisiana Constitution VIII, § 3 and service may bemade at 1201 North Third Street, Suite 5-190, Baton Rouge, LA 70802; and
(B) Mr. John White, in his official capacity as Louisiana Superintendent of Education for the Louisiana Department of Education, who may be served at 1201 North Third Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802. 

2.Plaintiffs are residents and tax payers of the State of Louisiana. Several plaintiffs
herein have children who are students within the state public school system. 
3. Defendant, BESE, is a body corporate created by the Louisiana Constitution
Article VIII, § 3. BESE is charged with the duty to “supervise and control the public
elementary and secondary schools and special schools under its jurisdiction and shall
have budgetary responsibility for all funds appropriated or allocated by the state for
those schools, all as provided by law.” 
Defendant, John White, as the Superintendent of the Louisiana Department of
Education, and in accordance with the Louisiana Constitution Article VIII, § 2, is the
public official charged with the duty of being the administrative head of the Department
of Education, and implementing the policies of the state board of elementary and
secondary education and the laws affecting schools under his jurisdiction. 
4. All defendants herein are required to follow all Louisiana laws with reference
to the adoption and implementation of policies and rules which impact the educational
opportunities of Louisiana Public School children. 
5. Common Core is a set(s) of standards/rules that impact the education of Louisiana
public school children. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is currently set to  replace the Louisiana English and Mathematics Standards/Grade-Level Expectations (GLEs), which were added to the State’s standards and benchmarks in 2004.
6.Common Core is set to become fully implemented in Louisiana public schools during the school year of 2014-15.  
7. On or about May 20, 2010, the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, in its Board Meeting Minutes, entitled Agenda Item 9-I-5, adopted a resolution that committed BESE to adopt the controversial Common Core Standardsno later than July 2010.
8. On or about July 2010, according to BESE’s website, Louisiana “joined with 44
other states and the District of Columbia by adopting the Common Core State
Standards, a set of educational standards developed by a consortium of states to
ensure consistent, quality education from school and from state to state.”

9. Petitioners fiercely contend that the adoption of these educational standards and/or
the development of rules for the implementation and enforcement of these standards
was, and is, in direct violation of the Louisiana Administrative Procedures Act (LAPA)
Title 49: 953 (3) (b): Procedure for adoption of rules, which reads:

Notice of the proposed rule shall be published at least once in the Louisiana
Register and shall be submitted with a full text of the proposed rule to the
Louisiana Register at least seventy days prior to the date the department proposes
to formally adopt the rule. The Office of the State Register may omit from
the Louisiana Register any such proposed rule the publication of which would
be unduly cumbersome, expensive, or otherwise inexpedient, if the Louisiana
Register contains a notice stating the general subject matter of the omitted
proposed rule, the process being employed by the department for adoption of
the proposed rule, and stating how a copy of the proposed rule may be obtained.
(emphasis added)

10.
Petitioners show that previous changes to educational standards were properly
submitted as “Bulletins” in the Louisiana Register. However, the Louisiana Register fails
to reflect that the “full text” of the proposed rule for adoptions and/or implementation of
the Common Core standards were ever published, as required by law, or a notice of the
general subject matter, as required by the LAPA.
11.
In failing to comply with the Louisiana Administrative Procedures Act Title 49:
953 (3) (b), said Petitioners, and other citizens of Louisiana, were denied their
procedural due process rights to have their comments and concerns heard by
Defendants prior to BESE’s adoption, and BESE’s and/or the Superintendents
implementation and enforcement of the Common Core Standards.
12.
Irreparable harm to children, parents and teachers of children in the State public
schools, and to taxpayers and citizens of the State exists, as the State public school
year is set to begin in approximately one month from the filing of this petition. Unless an
injunction issues herein by the Court, needless time and resources will be expended in
the teaching, testing, learning, and financing of Common Core, all to the detriment of
the citizens of Louisiana.
13.
As a result, Petitioners are requesting this Court to issue an immediate injunction
to suspend the implementation and enforcement of Common Core State Standards for
failure to follow the provisions of Louisiana Law until such required notice is made by
the defendants and for immediate and preliminary injunctive relief during the pendency
of the notice process contemplated under the LAPA.
WHEREFORE, Petitioners, Concerned Citizens of Louisiana, pray that
Defendants be served with a copy of this Petition to Suspend Implementation and
Enforcement of Common Core for Failure to Follow the Provisions of Louisiana Law
and for Temporary Injunctive Relief and be required to timely answer same; and after
due proceedings, that judgment be rendered in Petitioners’ favor and against the
defendants including attorneys’ fees, legal interest from date of judicial demand, and all
just and equitable relief allowed by law.
Respectfully submitted,
BOLEN, PARKER, BRENNER, LEE, &
ENGELSMAN LTD.
A PROFESSIONAL LAW CORPORATION
BY:________________________________
Daniel G. Brenner (Bar No. 18136)
Carmella Parker (Bar No. 28462)
Alexandria, Louisiana 71315-1590
Facsimile: (318) 443-1770
ATTORNEYS FOR PETITIONERS
PLEASE SERVE:
Mr. John White, in his official capacity as Superintendent
Louisiana Department of Education
Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802
Attorney General James “Buddy” Caldwell
Office of the Louisiana Attorney General
Ms. Kristy Nichols
Division of Administration
Office of Risk Management
1201 N. 3rd
 Floor, Suite 210
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70821-9106
Mr. Bud Thompson
Division of Risk Management
Office of Risk Management
 Street Street, Suite G-192
1201 N. 3rd
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802



 

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