FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMonday, July, 2014 FOR MORE INFORMATIONState Representative Brett GeymannState 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 ROUGESTATE 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 OFEDUCATION’S SUPERTINDENDANT, JOHN WHITE, AND THE LOUISIANASTATE BOARD OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
FILED:______________________ ______________________________DEPUTY CLERK
PETITION TO SUSPEND IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF“COMMON CORE” FOR FAILURE TO FOLLOW THE PROVISIONS OFLOUISIANA LAW, AND FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
NOW INTO COURT, through undersigned counsel, come the Petitioners, JamesArmes, Terry Brown, Henry Burns, Brett Geyman, Johnny Guinn, Lance Harris, JoeHarrison, Kenny Havard, Bob Hensgens, Cameron Henry, Paul Hollis, Barry Ivey, SamJones, Rogers Pope, Dee Richard, John Schroder, and Lanar Whitney (collectivelyhereinafter “Concerned Citizens of Louisiana”), who respectfully submit the followingPetition to Suspend Implementation and Enforcement of “Common Core State
Standards” (referred to herein as “Common Core”) for Failure to Follow the Provisionsof 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
2.Plaintiffs are residents and tax payers of the State of Louisiana. Several plaintiffsherein have children who are students within the state public school system.
3. Defendant, BESE, is a body corporate created by the Louisiana ConstitutionArticle VIII, § 3. BESE is charged with the duty to “supervise and control the publicelementary and secondary schools and special schools under its jurisdiction and shallhave budgetary responsibility for all funds appropriated or allocated by the state forthose schools, all as provided by law.”
Defendant, John White, as the Superintendent of the Louisiana Department ofEducation, and in accordance with the Louisiana Constitution Article VIII, § 2, is thepublic official charged with the duty of being the administrative head of the Departmentof Education, and implementing the policies of the state board of elementary andsecondary education and the laws affecting schools under his jurisdiction.
4. All defendants herein are required to follow all Louisiana laws with referenceto the adoption and implementation of policies and rules which impact the educationalopportunities of Louisiana Public School children.
5. Common Core is a set(s) of standards/rules that impact the education of Louisianapublic 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 44other states and the District of Columbia by adopting the Common Core StateStandards, a set of educational standards developed by a consortium of states toensure consistent, quality education from school and from state to state.”
9. Petitioners fiercely contend that the adoption of these educational standards and/orthe development of rules for the implementation and enforcement of these standardswas, 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 LouisianaRegister and shall be submitted with a full text of the proposed rule to theLouisiana Register at least seventy days prior to the date the department proposesto formally adopt the rule. The Office of the State Register may omit fromthe Louisiana Register any such proposed rule the publication of which wouldbe unduly cumbersome, expensive, or otherwise inexpedient, if the LouisianaRegister contains a notice stating the general subject matter of the omittedproposed rule, the process being employed by the department for adoption ofthe 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 properlysubmitted as “Bulletins” in the Louisiana Register. However, the Louisiana Register failsto reflect that the “full text” of the proposed rule for adoptions and/or implementation ofthe Common Core standards were ever published, as required by law, or a notice of thegeneral 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 theirprocedural due process rights to have their comments and concerns heard byDefendants prior to BESE’s adoption, and BESE’s and/or the Superintendentsimplementation and enforcement of the Common Core Standards.12.Irreparable harm to children, parents and teachers of children in the State publicschools, and to taxpayers and citizens of the State exists, as the State public schoolyear is set to begin in approximately one month from the filing of this petition. Unless aninjunction issues herein by the Court, needless time and resources will be expended inthe teaching, testing, learning, and financing of Common Core, all to the detriment ofthe citizens of Louisiana.13.As a result, Petitioners are requesting this Court to issue an immediate injunctionto suspend the implementation and enforcement of Common Core State Standards forfailure to follow the provisions of Louisiana Law until such required notice is made bythe defendants and for immediate and preliminary injunctive relief during the pendencyof the notice process contemplated under the LAPA.WHEREFORE, Petitioners, Concerned Citizens of Louisiana, pray thatDefendants be served with a copy of this Petition to Suspend Implementation andEnforcement of Common Core for Failure to Follow the Provisions of Louisiana Lawand for Temporary Injunctive Relief and be required to timely answer same; and afterdue proceedings, that judgment be rendered in Petitioners’ favor and against thedefendants including attorneys’ fees, legal interest from date of judicial demand, and alljust and equitable relief allowed by law.Respectfully submitted,BOLEN, PARKER, BRENNER, LEE, &ENGELSMAN LTD.A PROFESSIONAL LAW CORPORATIONBY:________________________________Daniel G. Brenner (Bar No. 18136)Carmella Parker (Bar No. 28462)Alexandria, Louisiana 71315-1590Phone: (318) 445-8236Facsimile: (318) 443-1770ATTORNEYS FOR PETITIONERSPLEASE SERVE:Mr. John White, in his official capacity as SuperintendentLouisiana Department of EducationLouisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary EducationBaton Rouge, Louisiana 70802Attorney General James “Buddy” CaldwellOffice of the Louisiana Attorney GeneralMs. Kristy NicholsDivision of AdministrationOffice of Risk Management1201 N. 3rdFloor, Suite 210Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70821-9106Mr. Bud ThompsonDivision of Risk ManagementOffice of Risk ManagementStreet Street, Suite G-1921201 N. 3rdBaton Rouge, Louisiana 70802