By Heide Brandes
OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - Oklahoma lost its federal "No Child Left Behind” waiver on Thursday after it dropped education standards adopted by almost all states, a move that could lead to cuts in the $500 million in U.S. funds its schools receive annually.
U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary Deborah Delisle said in a letter to Oklahoma Schools State Superintendent Janet Barresi the state can no longer demonstrate that it had college- and career-ready standards.
Earlier this year, the state repealed Common Core for English and math due to concerns that the federal government was trying to take over the state's education policy.
A few Republican-led states have dropped the standards this year, including Indiana and South Carolina.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, a Republican, lashed out at President Barack Obama, saying his Democratic administration was punishing the state because of the repeal.
"It is outrageous that President Obama and Washington bureaucrats are trying to dictate how Oklahoma schools spend education dollars," Fallin said.
While the standards were developed and implemented by states, the Obama administration encouraged their adoption through a competitive-grant program called Race to the Top, which gave money to cash-strapped states.
Common Core has come under fire across the political spectrum. Some left-leaning groups argue it increases reliance on standardized testing and discourages creativity and flexibility in the classroom.
(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Ken Wills)