Mr. Chairman, Fellow Representatives,
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to speak today. I am here today because, obviously, I am opposed to Common Core, or any federally mandated curriculum being forced on the students of Wyoming. However, I am opposed to much more than that. I am opposed to the fact that the Government is encroaching on the rights of the people. Not only our Federal Government, but also, our State Government is exceeding its authority and forcing the Will of Government onto the people.
When the Constitution of the United States was written, the Federal Government was only delegated very limited powers. Do you know what those four powers are? Anyone? James Madison said those powers were limited primarily to external objects and named specifically as:
3. Foreign Commerce
Those which are to remain in the State Governments are numerous and indefinite and will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State. (Federalist 45)
Simply speaking, if it is not war, peace, negotiations and foreign commerce, the Federal Government is not supposed to be involved in it. What that means for us, is that the Federal Government has no business whatsoever in our health care, or in our business, in our schools, or in any other aspect of daily life!
The Constitution was written and ratified by “an act of the whole American People” as Thomas Jefferson declared in 1802. Its purpose is to “secure the blessings of Liberty…to our posterity”. To secure that Liberty, “governments were instituted among men” not over them.*
Therefore, the purpose of the State Legislature is to enact laws for the good of the people, not the good of the Federal Government.
This Common Core debate is a perfect example of how far our Legislature has strayed from its purpose. You had two (2) Bills presented to you last week. HB97 and HB168. You, as a body, agreed to hear HB97 and that is why we are here today.
Whatever your reason for not introducing HB168, let me remind you that both Bills are brought by the people of Wyoming to address the concerns that many have regarding a Federally mandated school curriculum that has been adopted in Wyoming schools. So, whether you hear one Bill or both, the people of Wyoming have made it clear that the decisions about education are to be determined by the people and not of the Government.
In essence, even though neither Bill was perfect, the fact of the matter is, Wyoming residents do not want the decisions regarding the education of our children determined by the Government. Not the Federal Government, nor the State Government. We do not want the decisions about education made by the Governor, or by a person that he chooses to name as Director. We do not want the decisions about education to be determined solely by the School Board, nor the Board of Education. We voted for a School Superintendent that we believed would represent our common interests and not jeopardize the education of our children to the whim of a political system.
Essentially, the decision is to be left to the people of the State. Therefore, your consideration of the Bill must weigh heavily on the Will of the People.
Look around this room. These are the People and it is up to you to listen to the people and act accordingly to their will. Do not think for a moment that because this is a small group of people, that the majority of the people opposed to this takeover of our educational system are not fully supporting our actions just because they are not able to be here today. Do not fool yourself that there are not more people who believe the same way as we do but were not able to attend this session.
I personally have had to close the doors of my business in order to attend these sessions. There are thousands of like-minded people that would be here if they were able to do the same thing that I was able to do. And, there will be many more as we continue to educate the people to the damaging effect that Common Core will have if it is allowed to continue.
The seating in this room leads you to believe that you are superior to the people in this room. Let me remind you that you hold that seat because the people in this room elected you to that seat in order to represent the best interest of the residents of this State. You are sitting in these chairs because the people voted and granted you permission to be in that seat. And, depending on the outcome of these sessions, the people will vote again and will determine if you will continue to stay in that seat. The people who were supporting HB168 are already in the process of making that decision because they feel that, by not allowing that Bill to be introduced, you have turned a deaf ear to their concerns.
Lastly, let me remind you that the people of Wyoming know what is best for our children, our business and our communities. We are, after all, the people who live in these communities. We do not need the Government telling us what is best for us. We, the people, will make those decisions for ourselves.
In closing, I ask you again to look around this room. Look at these people who have come together, united, to tell you that we will not stand for the Government violating the rights of the people. We will not sit back and allow you ignore the voice of the people. We will hold you, our elected representatives accountable and responsible for doing the will of the people.
Thank you for your consideration in this matter and I pray that you will make your decision based on the Constitution and the rights of the people, not only on this matter but in all matters before you during this session.
Grandparent, Concerned Citizen
*The Path to Restoring America by KrisAnne Hall (Permission granted)