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Utah Next Common Core Legal Battleground

Utah is the latest of many states to have a battle over Common Core education standards flare up, this time in the state’s courtrooms.

The Libertas Institute, a libertarian public policy organization based in Utah, alleges that the state’s parents, teachers, and school administrators were not adequately consulted prior to the standards’ adoption, as required by state law. On Thursday, it filed a lawsuit by six parents and teachers in an effort to force a halt to the standards’ implementation.

Utah’s state school board adopted the standards in 2010 after voting for a preliminary approval, making public notice, and then waiting two additional months before voting on final approval. In addition, Utah’s government had participated in the crafting of the standards in 2009.

That wasn’t enough, Libertas argues.

“Consulting with specific groups requires actual proactive consulting,” the group’s president Connor Boyack told the Salt Lake Tribune. “It doesn’t require a poorly noticed standard meeting at which a random citizen might find out and have an opportunity to communicate their interest.”

Libertas wants the implementation of Common Core to be halted, and only resumed after more adequate negotiations with local educators and parents, followed by a redo on the adoption process.

The lawsuit follows an announcement two weeks ago by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert that the state’s attorney general would be reviewing Common Core to see if it created any unintended entanglements with the federal government. Libertas said there was no need to wait on Herbert’s review, however, as they had already been reviewing the standards since January looking for violations of state law.

Utah’s situation is less complicated than that seen in Louisiana, where a deluge of lawsuits has the state board of education suing Gov. Bobby Jindal, who wants to repeal Common Core, while both Jindal and a coalition of state legislators pursue separate lawsuits against the state board for trying to keep it.

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