Jefferson City, Missouri. On February 24, 2015, the Circuit Court for Cole County, Missouri ruled in favor of Missouri taxpayer plaintiffs Fred N. Sauer, Anne Gassel, and Gretchen Logue in their constitutional challenge to one of two interstate entities charged with implementing Common Core.
The Court blocked the payment of $4.3 million of Missouri taxpayer funds as membership fees to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, an interstate organization that is implementing tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards (“Common Core”).
The Court’s Judgment states: “The Court finds that the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium . . . is an unlawful interstate compact to which the U.S. Congress has never consented, whose existence and operation violate the Compact Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article I, § 10, cl. 3, as well as numerous federal statutes; and that Missouri’s participation in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium as a member is unlawful under state and federal law.”
Plaintiff Fred N. Sauer stated: “The Court’s judgment recognizes the reality that the interstate ‘consortia’ charged with writing and implementing the tests aligned with Common Core are, and have always been, unconstitutional interstate compacts. Missouri should not be a member of such an illegal entity.”
The Compact Clause of the U.S. Constitution states that “No State shall, without the consent of Congress … enter into any Agreement or Compact with any other State.” In their lawsuit, Sauer, Gassel, and Logue contended that the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is an unconstitutional compact because (1) it undermines the authority of the U.S. Congress, which has passed numerous federal statutes forbidding the establishment of a national curriculum; (2) it threatens the sovereignty of member States by forcing them to cede some of their control over educational policy within their borders to an interstate entity; and (3) it threatens the sovereignty of non-member States by seeking to create an educational “cartel” aligned with Common Core.