Marco Rubio | Candidates on Common Core

Marco Rubio - Candidates on Common Core | HSLDA Blog

Marco Rubio - Candidates on Common Core | HSLDA Blog

Every week leading up to the 2016 Primary Season, HSLDA will post a profile for one of the 2016 Presidential candidates on Homeschooling Now, highlighting where each stands on the Common Core State Standards Initiative. For more information on the Common Core, check out our free resources at



  • US Senator from Florida (2011-Present)
  • Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives (2006-2008)
  • Florida House of Representatives (2000-2008)

CURRENT POSITION: Opposes the Common Core


  • 2011: Rubio sends a letter to U.S. Education Secretary opposing use of NCLB waivers to coerce states into Common Core.
  • 2013: Cosponsors the A-Plus Act. 
  • 2015: Voted for S. Amendment 515, an amendment to allow states to opt out of Common Core.


“Here’s the problem with Common Core. The Department of Education, like every federal agency, will never be satisfied. They will not stop with it being a suggestion. They will turn it into a mandate. In fact, what they will begin to say to local communities is: ‘You will not get federal money unless you do things the way we want you to do it.’ And they will use Common Core or any other requirement that exists nationally to force it down the throats of our people and our states.” —Fox News GOP Presidential Debate, August 2015

“Common Core started out as a well-intentioned effort to develop more rigorous curriculum standards,” Rubio said in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times. “However, it is increasingly being used by the Obama Administration to turn the Department of Education into what is effectively a national school board. This effort to coerce states into adhering to national curriculum standards is not the best way to help our children attain the best education. Empowering parents, local communities and the individual states is the best approach.” —Statement to the Tampa Bay Times, July 2013, via Tampa Bay Times

“I am very concerned, and quite frankly opposed to any effort to try to create some sort of national curriculum standard and then try to leverage the power of the federal government’s funding to force states to adopt a certain curriculum standard. State and local levels are the best places to come up with curriculum reform, and it’s something the federal government shouldn’t be deeply involved in.” —Interview with the Shark Tank, July 2013, via YouTube

“I’m very cautious about the federal government’s role in establishing curriculum standards. The federal government always ends up turning a carrot into a stick, right? …If I was president of the United States, I would not have a Department of Education, perhaps at all. We don’t need a national school board.” —First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit, April 2015, via The New York Times

“Those standards will eventually be used to force on states policies the federal government wants.” …“I believe in having a 21st century curriculum, but I believe it should be done at the local and state level,” Rubio said at the college. “And if you create some sort of national standard, even as a suggestion, it will turn into a mandate the federal government will force on our students and our local school boards and you’re going to end up with a national school board.” —Speech at Manchester Community College, New Hampshire, April 2015, via Bloomberg Politics

Marco Rubio - Candidates on Common Core | HSLDA Blog


SUMMARY: Rubio has consistently opposed Common Core and the federal coercion of states into adopting education policies.

— Andrew Mullins and Lauren Mitchell

Photo Credit: First image graphic design by Andrew Mullins and Charity Klicka; second image by Gage Skidmore.

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