As opponents of the Obama Administration’s national education standards rallied Wednesday at the Missouri State Capitol, state Representative Mike Lair acted on what some might call sinister motives:  The Republican lawmaker included an appropriation of $8 for tin foil hats for parents and others who oppose the so-called Common Core standards.

Blogger Duane Lester put the word out after noticing an account in the Columbia Tribune, which reported:

The House Appropriations-Education Committee cut deeply today into Gov. Jay Nixon’s proposals for public schools and higher education, slashing his planned increases by more than $200 million.

But committee Chairman Mike Lair, R-Chillicothe, found $8 to address a pressing problem. The money is to be used “for two rolls of high density aluminum to create headgear designed to deflect drone and/or black helicopter mind reading and control technology.

Those who object to the Common Core standards actually are of sound mind, retorts Lindsey M. Burke, Heritage’s Will Skillman Fellow in Education Policy. She notes:

If Mr. Lair wants to provide tin foil hats to those concerned with Common Core, he’ll need a lot more than $8. Because those concerned with Common Core include thousands of teachers across the country, parents, taxpayers, the teachers’ unions, and state and local policymakers. Concerns over Common Core are merited, and deserve to be addressed, not ridiculed.

Concerns about the impact of national standards and tests are real and growing. Americans recognize that the type of government intervention Common Core represents is a zero-sum game; every act of centralization comes at the expense of parent and teacher voices being lost. The battle over national standards and tests is ultimately a battle over who controls the content taught in every local public school in America. Those concerns should not be trivialized.

Burke said that real concerns with Common Core – most recently from the nation’s largest teachers union – can’t be covered with a tin foil hat.

This story was produced by The Foundry’s news team. Nothing here should be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of The Heritage Foundation.