Exclusive: Common Core Paying Off Republican Politicians?

Tennessee recently made national headlines for a single city spending $5.2 million to align with the standards of Common Core.

“The new Common Core standards being implemented in states around the country are bringing unforeseen expenses to local districts, like a Tennessee city that had to borrow $5.2 million to buy iPads and laptops for kids as young as kindergarten,” reports Fox News.

The Murfreesboro, TN city council just recently approved the bond issuance last Thursday with a unanimous vote.

So, who exactly is pushing Common Core in the state of Tennessee? Perhaps one of the largest groups lobbying for Common Core in the state is the Ayers Foundation. Jim and Janet Ayers, founders of the organization, are extremely active in Tennessee politics. The Ayers Foundation is in many ways a political think tank. In 2012 the foundation was given a $1.2 million grant to push Common Core standards into the state of Tennessee. If Common Core is successfully implemented in Tennessee, the Ayers foundation is sure to prosper even more.

Emails were recently discovered that show Janet Ayers lobbying the Tennessee state legislature to accept and institute Common Core in the state of Tennessee (pictured below).

Ayers Email










The above addressees are an entire list of the Tennessee state legislature.  Mrs. Ayers urges the entire legislature to side with the few unpopular, establishment GOP politicians in the state of Tennessee who are pushing Common Core. You will notice in the addressee list state senator Jim Tracy (R). Tracy is running for US Congress in Tennessee’s 4th congressional district where he lives. This is the same district that is home to the above referenced city of Murfreesboro, TN, which just spent $5.2 million of money that they did not have to push common core standards.

As it turns out, Jim and Janet Ayers are some of senator Tracy’s largest donors. They both donated the maximum legal amount to Tracy’s campaign just 2 months before this email went out.

Senator Tracy's FEC Filings Showing Donations From Ayers Family.
Senator Tracy’s FEC Filings Showing Donations From Ayers Family

There seems to be a clear lobbying effort in the state of Tennessee from those who seek to benefit from federal dollars, which would funnel in behind a full implementation of Common Core standards being implemented in the sate.

Tracy has attended a meeting in the past, which was geared towards “stopping Common Core” in the state of Tennessee. The meeting was also attended by the very legislators now pushing the standards. Chairman Gresham (who supports Common Core as noted in Ayers’ email above) was also at the meeting, but is pushing hard for the state to implement Common Core regardless of citizens lobbying against it.

The recent lobbying effort and $10,400 donation have raised many eyebrows in a state that is consistently fighting to maintain its conservative identity.