Friday, January 19, 2018

Speaker Leonard Touts Common Core Opposition As Past Support Haunts Schuitmaker In Attorney General Race

By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At

Speaker of the Michigan House Tom Leonard is renewing his push against Common Core in a new video campaign as the issue continues to remain a problem with his opponent in the Attorney General race, State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker.

Leonard says in his new video that he supports the 10th Amendment when it comes to education policy, the feds should stay out. Leonard also says that Michigan families "deserve better than Washington's broken policies"

In a statement coinciding with the release of the video, Leonard says that the government needs to let teachers do their job, not make things harder.

"Quality education for Michigan’s next generation should always be a top priority," Leonard said. "I’ve met some phenomenal teachers when I was a student and now as a state representative. They work hard each day to prepare students for life outside the classroom, bringing their own ideas, knowledge and life experience to the table.

But we need to make sure we’re not making their job more difficult. Too often, government has interfered with the learning going on inside the classroom. I am the only attorney general candidate who has fought against common core since day one. Foundational issues like local control and parental choice have been critical concerns of mine from the beginning, not just when they became politically expedient. While standardized testing is critical to evaluating our students, we need to give schools and teachers the time and autonomy to provide our children with a quality education."

Conservatives praised Leonard's video, and many hope he will hold a vote to try and repeal Common Core.

"Glad to see someone still willing to fight against Common Core State Standards," said Allegan County Clerk Bob Genetski. "The federal government cannot be trusted with deciding what our children learn local schools. Thank you Tom Leonard."

Schuitmaker's past support of Common Core could prove to be a major issue for conservative grassroots delegates as they decide who to vote for in the Attorney General's race. Schuitmaker voted for Common Core in the State Senate in 2013.

According to MIRS:

"There may be a reason Republican senators avoided a roll call vote on the Common Core resolution Thursday.

MIRS today contacted all 26 Republican senators either directly or through their offices to ask whether they'd been a vocal "Aye" or "No" on the Thursday voice vote for HCR 11, a resolution allowing the Department of Education to spend money on implementing the Common Core state standards.

Sixteen senators were reached, and only 10 would say definitively how they would have voted.

A voice vote was taken on the resolution Thursday, meaning nobody went on the record as voting for or against HCR11. "

Yes" votes would have come from Sen. Arlan MEEKHOF (R-West Olive), Sen. John PAPPAGEORGE (R-Troy), Senate Majority Leader Randy RICHARDVILLE (R-Monroe), Sen. Tonya SCHUITMAKER (R-Lawton) and Sen. Howard WALKER (R-Traverse City).

"No" votes would have come from Sen. Jack BRANDENBURG (R-Harrison Twp.), Sen. Patrick COLBECK (R-Canton), Sen. Joe HUNE (R-Hamburg), Sen. Rick JONES (R-Grand Ledge), Sen. John MOOLENAAR (R-Midland) and Sen. Phil PAVLOV (R-St. Clair)."

Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at


  1. We have the best bill to get rid of Common Core (and NGSS and many of the other terrible things that go along with it) in the nation sitting in Lansing right now. Under Tom's leadership it has sat collecting dust all year. Talk is cheap - get the bill passed Tom.

  2. Tom Leonard has not been able to get rid of Common Core as Speaker of the House. Of course, he still has time! If Tom Leonard really wants to, he could put HB 4172 up for a floor vote. Actions speak louder than words, sir.

    What in the world does Leonard think he could do about Common Core as AG? I am pretty sure his endorsed candidate for governor, Bill Schuette has not done anything to get rid of Common Core, as I point out in this article.