Jerrold Heyman: Common coercion

May 3, 2014 

Your April 28 editorial “ Uncommon fuss” supporting common core forcefully put forth that it originated with the governors and that the administration is being blamed for something it had nothing to do with. There was insistence that it is opposed “only” because the president was associated with it.

Amazingly 45 states (and D.C.) approved common core quickly. Ever wonder why? Could it be the coercive nature of the $4.5 billion “Race to the Top” federal grants had more to do with that acceptance? Many states passed it just so they could compete for “free” money without understanding the ramifications.

It’s not the first time that coercion from the federal government was used to influence the states in areas that the federal government has “no” power – think back to the “national” speed limit of 55 mph. How did this happen? States were coerced by possibly losing highway funding if they didn’t adopt it.

In the Supreme Court ruling relating to ACA, the justices ruled that expansion of Medicaid was something that the states could choose not to participate in – again “free” money was used to coerce behavior that the federal government couldn’t impose on its own.

Jerrold Heyman


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