From: Heartland Institute: The Government Relations Team
To: Dean Sanpei,
Subject: The Leaflet - States Look to Repeal and Replace Common Core Standards
Date: Thu Dec 19 22:02:56 MST 2013

States Look to Repeal and

Replace Common Core Standards


Several states (such as Florida, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin) have been considering delaying, rejecting, or replacing the national Common Core Standards as more questions are being raised by parents, teachers, and education experts about their usefulness and their quality.


Joy Pullmann, Research Fellow at The Heartland Institute, pointed out at The Federalist that “At least a dozen states have held hearings reconsidering the initiative in just 2013. Such hearings routinely need overflow rooms to contain abnormally large audiences of moms, dads, grandparents, and teachers who attend during work and school hours. New York and Ohio are right in the middle of such hearings, following Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Michigan, Tennessee, and Indiana in just the past two months. Opponents’ concerns include lack of public input, costs, further centralization in education, lost teacher autonomy, crony capitalism, academic quality, and experimental testing.”


As states start delaying or even dropping the national Common Core standards and their tests the question arises as to what should be done instead. First, states should look at enacting a student privacy law that would protect them from unnecessary data gathering. Ultimately, states should consider how to replace the national standards with their own state-driven standards that fit their states’ unique population and education challenges.


The Heartland Institute, which also publishes School Reform News, is happy to send an expert to your state to testify or brief your caucus, help organize an event, or distribute further information on this or any other issue. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at or 312/377-4000. To learn more about Common Core Standards, here’s a good place to start.


This week's edition of The Leaflet features research and commentary addressing Common Core, reforming SNAP, Internet taxes, FATCA, Ohio electricity price increases, and opting out of Obamacare.




John Nothdurft

Director of Government Relations

The Heartland Institute



Letter: Local School Districts Assert Control in the Face of National tests Taxes

In his letter to the Washington Post, Heartland Education Fellow Bob Holland tells readers that the bipartisan push on the federal level for standardized testing has been a spurious attempt to cure education woes in the United States, much to the chagrin of California parents.


Holland writes, “There is growing test-weariness in the land as a result of both Republican- and Democrat-led administrations pushing standardized testing as a (spurious) cure for all that ails education in the United States.”


Jay Mathews captured that frustration in his Dec. 12 Local Living column, “Parents shrug off need for test results,” as he wrote of parents’ disagreement with Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who hammered California officials for wanting to delay reporting test results while the state makes the transition to Common Core testing.


“Perhaps these parents understand that Mr. Duncan is not the national school superintendent and that control of basic school policy still rightfully resides with states and the people under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution. The real concern should be what will happen to local control if states go all-in on Common Core. Does anyone doubt that Mr. Duncan and his successors will be deciding how to use (or abuse) the data from this standardized testing on steroids?”



Research & Commentary: Reforming SNAP
Budget & Tax

In this Research & Commentary, Matthew Glans examines the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and recent proposals to reform food stamp programs. Glans argues that reforms should focus on making sure recipients are both truly eligible and actively seeking work.


These reductions, which cannot truly be considered cuts, reduce SNAP funding only to its original level and result in an average decrease of only around 5 percent for those households receiving the maximum amount of food stamps, according to The Heritage Foundation. SNAP has been growing at a rapid rate. According to the Associated Press, in 2012 alone SNAP cost $78.4 billion to put 46 million people on food stamps; in 2006, 26 million people received benefits at a cost of $33 billion.


Research & Commentary: Supreme Court Rejects Internet Tax Case


A legal challenge to state “Amazon tax” laws was recently rejected for review by the United States Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court’s 1992 decision in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota held a state must prove a company has a “substantial nexus” within a state before taxes can be imposed. Since this ruling the nexus or “physical presence” standard has been an important taxpayer protection. In recent years, however, states have begun to craft new laws attempting to widen the scope of the nexus standard, in hopes of increasing sales tax revenue.


In this Research & Commentary, Matthew Glans discusses state Internet sales taxes and the New York Amazon tax and argues that instead of forcing out-of-state businesses to serve as government tax collectors, Congress and state legislators should improve the existing sales tax system, which is based on where the product was sold, known as an origin-based tax system. This would truly level the playing field, with both online and bricks-and-mortar retailers paying the same tax.


FATCA System Fails Government Probe, Threatens Privacy
Finance, Insurance and Real Estate

This article by Andrew Quinlan of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity examines a new report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The report finds that despite spending more than $8.6 million so far on FATCA, with another $8 million projected to be spent on developing the online portal for handling the registration of foreign financial institutions for FATCA the IRS is still unprepared for the law.


“The report reveals amazing disarray in the implementation process, as the IRS spent considerable resources developing the system before issuing the final regulations, which then had to be scrapped to accommodate new requirements. As we’ve previously noted, the process has also been marred by multiple delays,” the article says.


Electricity Prices Rise Dramatically Under Ohio Renewable Mandates

Electricity prices in Ohio have risen approximately triple the national average since Ohio enacted renewable power mandates in 2008. The sharp rise in electricity prices occurred despite promises during 2008 legislative hearings that renewable power mandates would have little or no impact on electricity prices.


Heartland Senior Fellow James Taylor reports, “In Ohio, electricity prices since 2008 have risen 9 percent. EIA reports Ohio electricity prices in 2008 were 8.44 cents per kilowatt hour. As of September 2013, Ohio electricity prices were 9.19 cents per kilowatt hour.”


You CAN Opt Out of Obamacare: Here's How
Health Care

Heartland Institute Policy Advisor Merrill Matthews, who is resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation, points out that, “Some pundits and the media have stated or implied that it is illegal for health insurers to sell coverage that does not meet the Affordable Care Act’s ‘essential benefits’ (i.e., things it must cover). It’s not illegal; insurers are free to sell non-qualified coverage, subject to state insurance department approval.

“However, a person buying non-qualified coverage would still have to pay the penalty (or tax) for not having the kind of coverage President Obama approves of—what he likes to call ‘substandard coverage,’ but which many others call affordable.


“Assurant is one of the largest insurers for the individual (i.e., non-group) market. It has long offered limited policies, and still does, even with Obamacare’s mandate to have qualified coverage breathing down its neck. Its Health Access fixed-indemnity product—which means it pays a fixed amount of money rather than a percentage of the medical bill—costs $94, $159 or $249 a month for a 50-year-old male, depending on the coverage options a person chooses.



Environment & Climate News

A panel of 50 scientists from 15 countries says the newest report from the United Nations on climate change is filled with concessions that its past predictions were too extreme and contains “at least 13 misleading or untrue statements and 11 further statements that are phrased in such a way that they mislead readers or misrepresent important aspects of the science.”


Health Care News

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Budget & Tax News


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Director, Government Relations

John Nothdurft


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Taylor Smith


Senior Policy Analyst

Matthew Glans


Government Relations Coordinator

Robin Knox




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