DENVER, Colo. -- Republican members of the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday made a strong statement in opposition to excessive school testing mandates from Washington, by offering an amendment to the annual budget bill that would cut and redirect nearly $17 million in funding that Colorado will spend on exams mandated by the Federal Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers Program (PARCC).
Backing the amendment, which fell short of the necessary votes, were Senators Vicki Marble (R-Fort Collins), Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs), Chris Holbert (R-Parker), Laura Woods (R-Arvada) and Tim Neville (R-Littleton).
Senator Neville said the amendment reflected a growing feeling in grassroots Colorado, among parents, students, teachers and administrators, that these tests were another wasteful, intrusive, one-size-fits-all federal mandate.
"Republican members of the Education Committee want Coloradans to know that we have heard their concerns about the seemingly-endless wave of federal testing programs and mandates being imposed on this state, which waste money, overload the system and undermine local control," Neville said after the vote. "We think this $17 million could be put to better use funding locally-based programs that empower parents and school districts, not distant Washington bureaucrats."
Despite this setback, Neville vowed that he and other Senate Republicans would continue to oppose federal interventions that rob Coloradans of control over education. He predicted that grassroots resistance to federal overreach on education would continue to grow until a proper balance of power is restored.