President Barack Obama's administration on Thursday stripped Oklahoma of authority to decide how to spend $29 million in education funding because the state abandoned national academic standards known as Common Core, in a rebuke that a union official said could lead to teacher layoffs.
The U.S. Department of Education said it was hitting Oklahoma with the sanction under the No Child Left Behind Act because the state could no longer demonstrate that its school standards were preparing students for college and careers.
The Republican-dominated Oklahoma Legislature voted this year to ditch Common Core, a national benchmark for what students should learn in such subjects as math and English that has been adopted in more than 40 states. GOP Gov. Mary Fallin signed the measure into law and Oklahoma will revert to weaker standards in place in 2010.