On a 15-13 vote, the Arizona Senate gave initial approval to a bill that would prohibit the state from using the Common Core educational standards.
Arizona adopted the Common Core standards in 2010 without opposition, but some Republicans have recently denounced the standards, saying they are a poorly conceived, federally-driven effort that usurps states' rights. Gov. Jan Brewer has supported the standards and renamed them the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards.
Bill sponsor Sen. Al Melvin, R-Saddlebrook, said Arizona can do a better job of implementing standards than the federal government.
Sen. David Bradley, D-Tucson, asked Melvin to explain his opposition.
"You said there were some assertions the standards lead to some pornographic material, that the math was fuzzy, that type of thing and I ask you to cite those and I’m not sure that you did so. If they are here please let us know and where are they?" Bradley said.
Melvin put the question back on Bradley.
"I leave it to you, Sen. Bradley, to find them. I’m just telling you I believe a majority of citizens in our state don’t want Common Core," Melvin replied.
Supporters of the standards say they will better prepare students for jobs, and that eliminating the program would cost the state millions in federal funding and would make the state less economically competitive.
Arizona and most other states have already begun implementing the standards.
The proposal still needs a final vote in the Arizona House and Senate before being sent to Brewer's desk.
The Associated Press contributed to this story