Adopting Agency

State Agency or Actor Who Adopted the Common Core

The primary role of state legislatures is to enact state statutes through the legislative process. Ultimately, state legislatures write the laws that governors will sign. Under education policy, for example, many legislatures have enacted laws that assign the courses required for high school graduation. State and local education agencies must then provide all high school students the opportunity to enroll in those courses. If it disagrees with a state or local education agency policy promulgated to execute these graduation requirements, the state legislature—for the most part—can modify or nullify those policies.

In the case of oversight of state education standards, ultimately legislatures have the power to pass legislation changing statutes; except in cases where authority for education state standards is established by the state constitution (for instance, Hawaii—there, the legislature could propose a constitutional amendment to modify that authority).

State Actor/Agency Who Adopted Common Core State Standards

In most states, the state board of education is responsible for formulating and approving state education standards. A handful of states, however, require legislative action. Some examples include:

  • Maine – The Maine Department of Education, in consultation with the Maine State Board of Education, is responsible for formulating state education standards. State standards are promulgated by rule of the Maine Department of Education. The Maine State Legislature then has approval authority over rules that are provisionally-adopted by the Department that constitute a “major substantive” rule, i.e., not a “routine technical” rule.
  • Nevada – The Council to Establish Academic Standards in Education addresses the establishment and revision of the State’s academic standards. The Council consists of eight members; members are appointed by the Governor (four members) and Legislative Leadership (four members). The State Board of Education reviews and adopts the standards as submitted by the Council. After adopting a regulation concerning the state standards, the Department of Education must submit a copy of the regulation to the Legislative Counsel for review by the Legislative Commission to determine whether the regulation conforms to the statutory authority pursuant to which it was adopted and whether the regulation carries out the intent of the Legislature in granting that authority.
  • Texas – The Legislature grants the State Board of Education the exclusive authority to adopt standards. But, the legislature can take away or limit the Board's authority over the standards through statute. The Legislature could adopt standards into statute, which could override Board action.
  • Vermont – Standards are adopted through the rule-making process and must be approved by a legislative committee on rule-review. All powers of the State Board of Education are statutory and can be changed. Therefore, the legislature has ultimate control, although there is no express legislative veto provision.

The table below contains information on authorizing entity charged with adopting academic standards. NCSL's Sunny Deye initially compiled this information from responses provided by the Legislative Education Staff Network in September 2010. Updates and adjustments have been made as of March 2014.

Print version available here.

Showing 54 items
StateAgency/Entity authorized to adopt standardsCCSS Adopting Government Actor/AgencyVote Tally (if known)DateLegislative action required before state standards can be fully adopted?Legislature has oversight and/or veto power over rules/regulations adopted by state board of education or other standards-authorizing entity?Additional References
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StateAgency/Entity authorized to adopt standardsCCSS Adopting Government Actor/AgencyVote Tally (if known)DateLegislative action required before state standards can be fully adopted?Legislature has oversight and/or veto power over rules/regulations adopted by state board of education or other standards-authorizing entity?Additional References
Alabama State Board of Education (elected, governor also serves as a member) by resolution Board of Education 7-2 November 2010  Pursuant to the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act, rules and regulations adopted by the State Board of Education are subject to oversight and/or veto power by Alabama’s Legislative Council, which consists of a portion (32 members) of the Legislature. Resolutions adopted by the SBE, however, are not subject to the oversight and/or veto of the Council.  
Alaska State Board of Education (appt. by governor) Did not adopt CCSS    Not officially. Legislative staff analyzes all proposed regulations and then reports findings to legislators. Staff attempt to complete analysis prior to the end of the public comment period to give legislators a chance to take legislative action before rules go into effect.  
American Samoa Governor Governor  October 3, 2012    
Arizona State Board of Education (appt. by governor) Board of Education  June 2010 No No legislative review of administrative rules.  
Arkansas State Board of Education (appt. by governor) Board of Education  July 2010 No Oversight only to the extent of reviewing the rules. No veto power. We have an Administrative Rules Section within the bureau now (about 2 yrs old) that tracks all agency rules for review by the Legislative Council.  
California State Board of Education (appt. by governor) Board of Education   August 2010 No No legislative review of administrative rules.  
Colorado State Board of Education (elected) is responsible for adopting the state model content standards Board of Education 4-2 August 2010 No. The standards do not come back for review by the General Assembly. No. The General Assembly has instructed the Office of Legislative Legal Services to review all of the state board's rules (as well as all of the rules adopted by other executive branch agencies) and to notify the General Assembly of rules that conflict with the statute or are outside the State Board's authority. The General Assembly then takes action to ensure those rules automatically repeal. However, the state model content standards are not adopted as rules under the state's Administrative Procedure Act, so they are not subject to the rule review process.  Click here 
Connecticut State Board of Education (appt. by governor) Board of Education Unanimous July 2010 No legislative action is required. No. There is no formal process by which the legislative reviews Board decisions on standards. The Board’s authority to adopt standards is defined in statute. The legislature could always change the statute by passing legislation.  
Delaware State Board of Education (appt. by governor) Board of Education  August 2010 No No legislative review of administrative rules. However, the legislature is free to enact legislation after the fact, if they so desire.  
District of Columbia Board of Education Board of Education 6-1 July 2010    
Florida State Board of Education (appt. by governor) Board of Education Unanimous July 2010  Florida has both substantive committee and Joint Administrative Procedures Committee oversight and review of all standards and rules of the state board of education and all other education standards-authorizing entities. No legislative veto.  
Georgia State Board of Education (appt. by governor) Board of Education  July 2010 No The Legislature does not have "veto" power over State Board rules, but they can pass new laws or amend existing laws that could require changes to our rules in order to be in compliance with state law.  
Guam Board of Education Board of Education 7-1 February 2012    
Hawaii State Board of Education (elected), which has constitutional authority over state standards Board of Education  June 2010 No No legislative review of administrative rules. (Indirect maybe.)   
Idaho State Board of Education (appt. by governor)—the State Department of Education formulates the standards and the State Board of Education approves the standards; the standards are then formulated into administrative rules that go through an extensive review and are lastly reviewed and voted on by legislative germane committees and then the full Legislature Board of Education approved the K-12 Common Core State Standards in November 2010; for final approval, one body in the Legislature had to approve the standards, and on January 24, 2011, the Senate Education Committee voted unanimously to approve the standards. Unanimous January 2011 Yes Yes  
Illinois State Board of Education (appt. by governor) Board of Education (approved by Joint Committee on Administrative Rules)  June 2010 No No. However, the Standards were put out to public comment and went through the legislature’s rules adoption process, which culminates in a hearing and approval by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (which is comprised of legislators).  
Indiana State Board of Education (appt. by governor) and the Education Roundtable (co-chaired by Governor and the elected Superintendent of Public Instruction) Board of Education Unanimous August 2010 (as of March 2014, Indiana revoked adoption of CCSS via legislative action (2014 SB 91)) No No. The Administrative Rules Oversight Commission, which is a study committee made up of legislators from both houses may decide to review a rule and suggest legislation for introduction in the General Assembly. The legislature can adopt, and the governor must sign, legislation to repeal a rule. Click here for 2014 legislation 
Iowa State Board of Education (appt. by governor) Board of Education Unanimous July 2010 No The Iowa Code establishes that oversight of state agency rules shall be provided by the Administrative Rules Review Committee, but the State Board did not actually adopt the content standards in rule. If the board had adopted the standards by rule, the bipartisan committee, which is comprised of five senators and five representatives, would have reviewed the rule and would have had various options provided for in Iowa Code Chapter 17A.  
Kansas State Board of Education (elected) Board of Education  October 2010 No The legislature cannot veto rules and regulations, although it does have a committee that reviews all rules and regulations, and if the committee does not like some items in proposed regulations, it can voice that opinion, which is most often taken into account by the regulatory bodies. Or if not heard, legislators can, of course, develop laws which can have the effect of changing such regulations—or take money from agencies.  
Kentucky Kentucky Board of Education (appt. by governor) Senate Bill 1 (2009) directed the Kentucky Board of Education, the Council on Postsecondary Education, and the Education Professional Standards Board to revise the state's academic standards based on college- and career-readiness criteria. The chairs of those three agencies later signed a formal resolution directing their agencies to implement CCSS, which finalized adoption.  February 2010 Yes, Kentucky statutes include a process that creates the option for legislative committee review and recommendations. The Kentucky Board of Education must submit a proposed regulation dealing with the assessment and accountability system to the Education Assessment and Accountability Regulation Review Subcommittee for review and subsequently depending upon the date of promulgation, review by the Interim Joint Committee on Education, or the standing Senate and House Committees on Education. The legislative committees may make nonbinding determinations. The Kentucky Board of Education must either accept suggestions or recommendations regarding an administrative regulation or issue a concise statement setting forth the reasons for not accepting suggestions or recommendations regarding an administrative regulation. A proposed regulation that either was approved by the appropriate committee or which was not reviewed by the appropriate committee within the timeframe required by statute subsequently becomes law within an established statutory schedule. A regulation found deficient may be implemented but must either be approved by the next session of the General Assembly or cease to be law.  
Louisiana The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) is responsible for developing and implementing K-12 state education standards. However, once standards are approved by BESE, the rules to implement the standards must be promulgated in accordance with the state’s Administrative Procedure Act. Board of Education  July 2010 No Yes. All proposed rules must be submitted to the appropriate legislative committee (in this case, the Senate and House committees on education) before final rules can be promulgated and implemented. The legislative committees with oversight responsibility for a specific agency have the option of holding a hearing on a rule (meeting either separately or jointly), or to allow the rule(s) to become final without a committee hearing. If either the Senate or the House committee disapproves a rule, the rule is then sent to the governor who can override the committee action, thus allowing final adoption and implementation of the rule.  
Maine Maine Department of Education, in consultation with the Maine State Board of Education, is responsible for formulating state education standards. State standards are promulgated by rule of the Maine Department of Education. Department of Education (legislature approved (2011 L.D. 12), which Gov. Paul LePage signed into law) Unanimous April 2011 Yes. The Maine State Legislature has approval authority over rules that are provisionally-adopted by the department and are a “major substantive” rule, i.e., not a “routine technical” rule. Yes Click here 
Maryland State Board of Education (appt. by governor) Board of Education Unanimous June 2010 No The Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review (AELR) functions as the watchdog of the General Assembly in overseeing the activities of State agencies as they relate to regulations. The committee’s primary function is to review any regulations that are proposed for adoption by a unit of the Executive Branch of State government to determine whether the regulations conform both with the statutory authority of the unit and the legislative intent of the statute under which the regulations are proposed  
Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (appt. by governor) Board of Education Unanimous July 2010 No No. However, the General Court can pass legislation that changes standards.  
Michigan Michigan's “model” standards are developed by the State Board of Education (elected). Schools must adopt them (or have similar standards approved) if they want to be accredited. Board of Education Unanimous June 2010 No. The legislature does not have to approve the standards adopted by the state board. No. The legislature does a limited amount of oversight over the rules adopted by the state board. There is a process whereby rules are run through a legislative committee, but they are rarely changed in this process.  
Minnesota Commissioner of Education. There is no board of education. The standards are outlined in state statute therefore it is the legislature that determines the standards. Then, the commissioner must adopt rules for implementing the statewide standards. The commissioner must not amend or repeal these rules without specific legislative authorization.  Minnesota adopts standards for individual academic subjects on an annual cycle as dictated by statute. During the 2009-10 school year, the statute authorized the Commissioner of Education to “revise and align the state's academic standards and high school graduation requirements in language arts” only. Minnesota last revised is mathematics standards during the 2006-2007 school year. The state’s mathematics standards will not be reviewed again until the 2015-2016 school year. (See Minn. Stat. § 120B.023(2)).   Yes. In order for the Dept. of Educ. (DOE) to set new standards, or rules of any kind, it must first receive legislative direction. The commissioner of education, through a revision cycle, has the authority to set the benchmarks that align to the standards. These benchmarks do not need legislative approval in order to be adopted. No direct oversight once DOE has adopted new standards. The legislature can, and has frequently, passed legislation that modifies academic standards. However, there is no formal legislative review process of standards approved by the Commissioner of Education. Because the revision cycle occurs over a couple years, there are legislative sessions that begin and end during the revision process. In this way, the legislature has oversight and has the opportunity to direct the revision rulemaking process. Click here 
Mississippi State Board of Education (appt. by governor, lt. governor, and speaker of the house) Board of Education  June 2010 No No legislative review of administrative rules.  
Missouri State Board of Education (appt. by governor) Board of Education  August 2010 The statute (160.514) says by rule and regulation—the original 1993 law resulted in standards adopted by administrative rule in 1995, effective in 1996. The general assembly has a role to play in the final adoption of administrative rules through its joint committee on administrative rules.   
Montana State Board of Public Education (appt. by governor) Board of Education  November 2011 No No. But, the legislature passed a law in 2005 that says any rule from the board that will have a significant fiscal impact cannot be implemented until after the next legislative session. This gives the legislature time to initiative a change in rules through legislation.  
Nebraska State Board of Education (elected) Did not adopt CCSS (as of January 2011, half the board members had expressed concern over adopting the Common Core)   No No legislative review of administrative rules.  
Nevada State Board of Education (elected) The Council to Establish Academic Standards in Education addresses the establishment and revision of the State’s academic standards. The Council consists of 8 members; members are appointed by the Governor (4 members) and Legislative Leadership (4 members). The State Board of Education reviews and adopts the standards as submitted by the Council. The State Board may object to the standards and return those standards to the Council with an explanation. The State Board must adopt the standards as resubmitted, with or without revisions. The Council to Establish Academic Standards first adopted the standards. The BOE formalized the adoption with their approval. A legislative commission then approved the BOE's decision.  June 2010 Yes. After adopting a regulation concerning the state standards, the Department of Education must submit the a copy of the regulation to the Legislative Counsel for review by the Legislative Commission to determine whether the regulation conforms to the statutory authority pursuant to which it was adopted and whether the regulation carries out the intent of the Legislature in granting that authority. Yes. The Legislative Commission may object to the regulation if it is determined the regulation is: 1) not required; 2) does not conform to statutory authority; or 3) does not carry out legislative intent (in which this case, the regulation is not approved and is returned to the agency). Click here 
New Hampshire State Board of Education (appt. by governor) Board of Education  July 2010  Yes  
New Jersey State Board of Education (appt. by governor) Board of Education  June 2010 No No. The Legislature can, however, pass laws mandating the inclusion of certain items.  
New Mexico Secretary of Public Education (appt by governor) Secretary of Education (Designate)  June 2010 No The Legislature has no oversight or veto power over agency rule under the separation of powers except by later nullification through statute. Click here 
New York State Board of Regents (appt. by legislature) Board of Education  July 2010    
North Carolina State Board of Education (appt. by governor) is responsible for formulating and approving state education standards (though the General Assembly certainly has the power step in and modify or limit standards, if they so choose) Board of Education  June 2010 No Generally, most NC agencies' rules are subject to review and repeal by the General Assembly before those rules can take effect. However, lawyers for the State Board of Education argue that those laws do not apply to the State Board's rulemaking because it has constitutional authority to adopt rules. Ultimately, the GA makes the laws in North Carolina, so the GA could certainly step in and modify standards/curriculum/graduation requirements/etc. if there was something that the GA didn't agree with. Legislative action may be required before some standards are approved if they would conflict with something that is in existing statutes.  
North Dakota State Superintendent Content standards development committees prepared draft copies, received comments statewide from educators, completed their work, and voted unanimously that the state adopt the CCSS Unanimous June 2011 No Yes. The legislative assembly only meets every two years. When not in session, the legislative Administrative Rules Committee can void any rule set by the Superintendent of Public Instruction.  
Northern Mariana Islands Board of Education Board of Education  October 2011    
Ohio State Board of Education (11 of 19 members are elected, the rest are appointed by governor) Board of education  June 2010 No No. Standards are not considered ‘rules’ and thus are not under the authority of the Joint Administrative Rule Review legislative committee that reviews proposed rules and regulations.  
Oklahoma State Board of Education (appt. by governor; however, chair of board is the elected chief state school officer) is responsible for formulating and approving state curriculum standards, with some direction from the legislature Senate Bill 2033 (2010) directed the Board of Education to adopt CCSS by Aug. 1, 2010, which it did.  June 2010 No, but the legislature has specified in law the courses required for high school graduation (70 O S. §§11-103.6), the scope of social studies curriculum (70 O. S. §11-103.6a), AIDS prevention education (70 O.S. §11-103.3), approval of sex education curriculum (70 O.S. §11-105.1), the Passport to Financial Literacy instruction (70 O.S. §11-103.6g-11-103.6h), and physical education programs (70 O.S. §11-103.9).  No. The Legislature does not have direct veto power. However, the State Board of Education does have to adopt subject matter standards every six years through the rule making process. Click here 
Oregon State Board of Education (appt. by governor) Board of Education  October 2010 No Legislature has oversight. Rules are sent to specific legislators and legislative offices for review.  
Pennsylvania State Board of Education (appt. by governor) Board of Education  July 2010    
Rhode Island Board of Regents (appt. by governor) Board of Education  July 2010  No legislative review of administrative rules  
South Carolina State Board of Education (state legislators within each judicial circuit meet to elect the state board member that will represent the judicial district) Board of Education  July 2010 No No direct veto authority. The legislature would have to change statute to override any standards.  
South Dakota State Board of Education (appt. by governor) Board of Education Unanimous November 2010 No Yes  
Tennessee State Board of Education (appt. by governor) Board of Education  July 2010 No There is a process available to the legislature where it can suspend a rule through legislative enactment. However, curriculum standards are not considered a rule, but instead as a responsibility of the State Board of Educ.  
Texas State board of education (elected) Did not adopt CCSS   No No. The Legislature grants the board the exclusive authority to adopt the standards. But, the legislature can take away or limit the board's authority over the standards through statute. The Legislature could adopt standards into statute, which could override board action.  
Utah State Board of Education (elected) Board of Education Unanimous August 2010 No Yes. The Administrative Rules Committee may review any rule and may recommend proposed legislation to sunset a rule.  
Vermont State Board of Education (appt. by governor with advice of the senate) Board of Education  August 2010 The standards are adopted through the rule-making process and must be approved by a legislative committee on rule-review. No action from the full legislature is required. All powers of the State BOE are statutory and can be changed. Therefore, the legislature has ultimate control, although there is no express veto provision.  
Virginia State Board of Education (appt by governor) Did not adopt CCSS   No No veto power. Joint Commission on Administrative Rules, or related legislative committees can object to a proposed rule, and with concurrence of the governor, suspend the effective date until the end of the next legislative session.   
Washington State Superintendent (with authorization from state legislature) Legislature gave final approval in 2011  July 2011 The basic statute requires that the SPI, “on request,” provide “opportunities for the Education Committees of the legislature to review” any proposed modifications to the state learning standards before the modifications are adopted. There is no specificity as to what form this “request” or “opportunity for review” actually takes. Yes. The statute provides that the legislature must be provided time to review and respond prior to the adoption of any changes in state learning standards. Click here 
West Virginia State Board of Education (appt. by governor) Board of Education  May 2010 No Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability can review rules of the State Board but cannot amend or void them. They can make recommendations to the State Board. The legislature is free to pass legislation that is contrary to a rule to override it.  
Wisconsin State Superintendent (elected) Superintendent Evers exercised his authority under Article X of the Wisconsin Constitution  June 2010 State law does prescribe some standards for school districts and weighs in on certain curricular subjects, but it does not address model academic standards. No Click here 
Wyoming State Board of Education (appt. by governor) Board of Education  June 2010    
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