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Common Core Could Impact Special GOP Congressional Race In Florida

The one issue that conservative grassroots activists around the country seem to come together and rally against is Common Core, or socialized education.

This  issue  could very well sink any Republican congressional candidate’s campaign, if they were to support the federal education standards.

National conservatives like Senator Marco Rubio, Allen West, as well as author and Fox News Contributor, Michelle Malkin, have all railed against Common Core education standards, further fueling the existing and growing nationwide groundswell of support to block Common Core.

Read Marco Rubio Opposes Common Core Education Standards

Common Core education standards are being embraced by state legislator around the country, including the folks up in Tallahassee, Florida. In 2013, Florida state representative Debbie Mayfield (R) filed a bill to stop Common Core in Florida. Florida Governor Rick Scott, who was a big supporter of the standards, took a baby step back on the matter, and withdrew Florida from federal Common Core testing.

Senate Majority leader Lizbeth Benacquisto, who is currently a candidate for the U.S. Congress in the upcoming Republican special primary election to replace Trey Radel in FL-CD19, co-sponsored SB 1076, a state Senate education bill that was signed into law last year.

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Lizbeth Benacquisto

During the recent forum which included Benacquisto and the three other Republican candidates in the race, Benacquisto stated that she adamantly opposed Common Core education standards.

I’ll be darned if I am going to let the President decide what my child should learn. There is no benefit to a once size fits all curriculum for every state, in every neighborhood. What Common Core does is remove the sense of individuality and creativity, and purposefulness of the learning experience. It is a failed policy that we will repeal if we are in Congress. With a daughter that is in the school system, it is a fight that is personal to me. – Lizbeth Benacquisto

But in reading the education bill Benacquisto co-sponsored in the Senate, the bill provides “requirements” for the “transition to common core assessments.”

Is Benacquisto completely against Common Core?

Here is how page 3 of the bill reads:

“… requirements for a statewide, standardized assessment program aligned to core curricular content in the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards; providing requirements for end-of-course assessments; providing requirements for instruction for students with disabilities; providing for transition to common core assessments in English Language Arts and mathematics; providing requirements for assessment scores…” – SB 1076

In response to our inquiring on Benacquisto’s co-sponsored education bill, her campaigned outlined that “The Career and Professional Education Act (1076) was a bill that required expanded career education in Florida, added resources to increase the high school graduation rates,directed Florida’s public colleges to develop bachelor’s degree programs that cost $10,000 or less, and added dollars to reward teachers who demonstrate exceptional results in the classroom,” adding that “it was a comprehensive bill that gives more control to communities.”

In addition, Benacquisto’s campaigned pointed out that 1076 “was OPPOSED in the state senate by 7 of Florida’s most liberal Democrats.”

To her credit, Benacquisto has sponsored several pieces of legislation that allow families to choose where their children attend school, as well as giving “low-income” students, through scholarships, the same school choice opportunities. To add to her pro-education position, Benacquisto has just co-sponsored SB 1316, which is an education bill that mirrors the House bill Representative Debbie Mayfield Common Core-blocking legislation.

Activist Cindy Kucharski of North Fort Myers penned a letter to Benacquisto, questioning why Benaquisto was “supportive of this agenda in the past” and her co-sponsoring of the “Common Core implementation in Florida schools.”

If you are not instrumental in actually stopping Common Core by submitting a senate bill to do so by tomorrow, I cannot in good faith vote for you in June if you should be the candidate. – Cindy Kucharski

During the forum, Paige Kreegel outlined what Common Core really was, and stated that he would “not vote for it,” and would do everything he could to try to stop it,” if he was in the Congress.

While Michael Dreikorn echoed what Kreegel said, Dreikorn enlightened attendees of the fact that Common Core already passed in Florida, and warned about the intrusive data mining that will occur under Common Core

Businessman Curt Clawson implied that both the Department of Education and Common Core needed to be gutted.

“We can take care of Common Core and the Department of Education all in one swoop” – Curt Clawson

This bill, which was passed by the conservative Republican-led Florida legislature, and signed into law by Governor Scott, seems to a pretty good bill that addresses many of state’s education needs, but does open the door for Common Core education standards.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image and this column originally appeared on The Shark Tank.