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Posts tagged ‘Public Education’

Two States Now Have Universal School Choice — And Yours Could Be Next


BY: KERI INGRAHAM | JANUARY 27, 2023

Read more at https://www.conservativereview.com/two-states-now-have-universal-school-choice-and-yours-could-be-next-2659317975.html/

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signing a document
On Tuesday, Iowa became the second state in the country to pass universal school choice. Several red states are looking to follow suit.

Author Keri Ingraham profile

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On Tuesday, Iowa became the second state in the country to pass universal school choice, directly providing families with funds to support their children’s education. Arizona was the trendsetter for this new wave of educational freedom after Gov. Doug Ducey signed universal school choice into law on July 7, 2022. 

Now the race is on to advance educational freedom, with several red states looking to follow suit. The significance of these developments can hardly be overstated. What was once a pipe dream for many education reformers — the enabling of school choice at scale during their lifetimes — is now becoming a reality.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, true to her word, wasted no time in the 2023 legislative session by introducing the Students First Act in her Condition of the State address on Jan. 10. Within two weeks, the bill was signed into law. It took less than 24 hours for debate in the House and Senate, followed by Reynolds’ signing. The education savings account (ESA) program will provide parents with approximately $7,600 annually to allocate toward approved educational avenues. Most families are eligible in years one and two, and the benefit will be extended to all families statewide in year three.

Of course, powers beholden to leftist teachers unions should not be expected to go down without a fight. Even in pioneering state Arizona, new Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs seeks to undo its universal school voucher expansion law in her 2023 budget proposal. With Republicans controlling both state legislative bodies, her proposal will likely go down with the same fate as her massively failed veto referendum that sought to stop the law from taking effect while she was secretary of state last fall. For a politician, Hobbs is remarkably insensitive to the views of Arizona voters, 67 percent of whom support the state’s ESA program (the number jumps to 77 percent of Arizona parents of school-aged children).

States with a Republican governor and GOP majorities in both their House and Senate, on the other hand, are leading the charge across the United States to empower parents with options. The goal is universal school choice — through ESAs — to provide flexibility for families to select their desired educational avenue. Funds can be spent on school tuition, homeschool expenses, online learning, tutoring, special needs therapy, learning materials, and other education-related expenses.

ESA programs not only afford parents options outside of government-run, union-controlled public schools, but they save the state money because typically only a portion of the student state funding is provided. For example, in Arizona, instead of upwards of $12,000 spent per student within the public system, the ESA provided to families is only $7,000.

As the race to pass universal school choice picks up speed, several states could be heading to the home stretch in the coming weeks and months.

  • Utah is positioned extremely well to join the universal school choice ranks as the House and
    Senate have both passed the “Utah Fits All Act” as of January 26. If signed into law by Gov.
    Spencer Cox, families would have access to roughly $8,000 each year for educational expenses.
  • Florida is historically a national leader in school choice, with almost half its students learning in an option outside of their assigned traditional public school. Current legislation is calling for
    universal school choice. With Republican lawmakers holding supermajorities in both the House
    and Senate, and Gov. Ron DeSantis at the helm, it’s only a matter of time.
  • Oklahoma is a contender in the educational freedom race. The Education Freedom Act is currently in the Senate, which has a 40-8 Republican supermajority. The House has an 81-20 supermajority. Once the bill hits educational freedom champion Gov. Kevin Stitt’s desk, it will be signed into law. It will grant all families statewide access to an ESA based on the state’s per-pupil education expense. State Superintendent Ryan Walters is a fierce supporter of empowering Oklahoma families with educational freedom to select the schools that will best serve their children.
  • Texas, traditionally lagging behind other red states on school choice, is not to be counted out this session in advancing ESAs. In May 2022, Gov. Greg Abbott urged lawmakers to empower parents through state funding following students. As the months passed, the groundwork was laid, including debunking the notion that school choice does not benefit rural areas or that it hurts rural school districts.
  • West Virginia was the national leader prior to Arizona passing universal school choice in 2022. In West Virginia, roughly 93 percent of students have access to the Hope Scholarship to date. There is the possibility to expand it to 100 percent of the state’s children within the next three years. Despite the state’s families having negligible educational freedom options until 2019, West Virginia is now among the leaders.
  • Indiana has efforts underway to expand the state’s existing ESA program to all students statewide while also increasing the grant amount from 90 percent of the per-student state funding to 100 percent. That would translate to an average of $7,500 allocated per student for educational expenses of the parents’ choosing.
  • Arkansas shouldn’t be overlooked this session. Newly elected Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has stated her support for plans to “empower parents with more choices … so no child is ever trapped in a failing school.”

The tide is turning, and the implications are tremendous. No longer will families be at the mercy of government-run, union-controlled traditional public schools. Parents in an increasing number of states will be empowered as decision-makers in their children’s education.

The question is: Which state will be next to achieve universal educational freedom?


Dr. Keri D. Ingraham is a Fellow at Discovery Institute, Director of the American Center for Transforming Education, and a Visiting Fellow at Independent Women’s Forum.

Barr: Public Schools Are Now So Hostile to Christians, They’re Unconstitutional


A MUST READ AND SHARE -Jerry Broussard

REPORTED BY: JOY PULLMANN | JUNE 27, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/06/27/barr-public-schools-are-now-so-hostile-to-christians-theyre-unconstitutional/

William Barr

Religious devotion, the keystone of ordered liberty in the West, has been under systematic assault by anti-religious forces Barr called an ‘atheocracy.’

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The West is facing its deepest civilizational crisis since Jesus Christ resurrected, and addressing the crisis requires removing militant secularists’ monopoly on education, former U.S. attorney general William Barr told a packed Christian conference in Chicago, Ill. on Saturday.

“We are going through a fateful crisis in western civilization. This is the deepest crisis we’ve faced in my mind since Christ,” Barr said. “That’s because our whole civilization is based on the Judeo-Christian tradition and that tradition is under sustained attack by increasingly militant secular forces.”

In a reprise of a 2019 speech at Notre Dame University that met massive corporate media backlash, Barr told the audience U.S. public schools have become hostile to traditional religion while wresting control of American children’s upbringing from their parents. This is a threat to the entire Western order, Barr said, because the unique American system of self-government cannot exist without a citizenry that is committed to traditional religion.

That’s because there are only two ways to restrain people from following disordered passions, Barr said: internal restraints, which are largely provided by one’s beliefs; and external restraints, which are typically provided by government. So, in order to have a limited government, Barr noted in an explicit echo of the American Founders, citizens must practice self-restraint. Such self-restraint is primarily developed through religious devotion, he said. But religious observance, the keystone of ordered liberty in the West, has been under systematic assault by anti-religious forces Barr called an “atheocracy,” his amalgam of the words “atheist theocracy.” These anti-religious forces now control the minds of American kids due to their monopoly on U.S. education institutions.

“The threat today is not that religious people are about to establish a theocracy in the United States, it is that militant secularists are trying to establish an atheocracy,” Barr said. Barr also spoke to The Federalist about the asymmetric justice being carried out under Joe Biden by the agency he has led twice, the U.S. Department of Justice.

In a 2021 interview with the legal nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom, Barr said anti-religion leftists have effectively turned public schools into “secular-progressive madrassas.” In his Chicago speech on Saturday, the nation’s former top lawyer told the audience this state of affairs is likely a violation of the Constitution’s ban on government establishment of one religion over others, as well as a violation of the Free Exercise Clause that forbids the government from interfering with Americans’ religious obligations.

“What we’re living through is not a situation where religion is intruding into the government’s rightful arena, it’s exactly the opposite: It’s that government and politics is usurping the role of religion,” Barr said.

Barr told the sold-out Chicago audience at the 2022 conference of the Christian radio show “Issues, Etc.” that American politics now aligns with religious beliefs. The dichotomy in American life is no longer about prudential issues but religious ones: whether one acknowledges an objective, external, unchanging reality ordered by a transcendent deity or whether one insists the material world is all there is, which makes one’s god the self.

This anti-God materialism now maps onto and fuels political leftism, Barr said:

When a purely materialist worldview takes hold in society, it’s drawn to a messianic utopianism. Its adherents become enthralled with the idea that the meaning of life, what gives them purpose and meaning, is to be found in the quest for a perfect earthly society. The manipulation of the material world to achieve some form of nirvana here on earth. And the means used is achieving political power.

The main obstacle to this earthly paradise is the existing structure, conventions and superstitions like religion. Any obstacle to our earthly paradise has to be torn down.

These ideas are represented by the progressive movement in the United States. It basically is an ersatz religion that gives them a sort of truncated version of the place filled by religion in people’s lives. It also explains the bitterness in our politics today. Because once you adopt this view, then your political opponents aren’t just disagreeing with you, they’re evil. They are standing in the way of the salvation of mankind.

…Another part of this revolutionary era and the consequences we have been witnessing over the last couple of hundred years is a worldview that boils questions of morality solely down to an individual’s internal feelings. And their interior sense of pleasure and satisfaction. That’s how we gauge acts, whether people feel internally satisfied. And anything that advances that feeling is good, and anything that constrains or restricts that feeling is bad. This is a fundamental change in the worldview of the West.

Because the U.S. Supreme Court and other American political institutions have turned public schools from essentially Christian schools into essentially anti-Christian schools, Barr said, the U.S. school system has been erasing the faith required to sustain limited government. Multiple studies provide evidence this is true.

Banning Christianity from education created a moral vacuum that has ultimately been filled badly with political leftism. This has not only increasingly turned younger American generations against their own faith, families, and country, it has turned public schools into indoctrination camps.

“Personal and civic moral systems don’t just sort of hover in the air,” Barr explained. “They have to rest on an explanatory foundation, a metaphysical foundation. When people tell you to do something, you ask ‘Why?’ Why is it necessary to be good and what is it that consists of being good? So, the extent to which an education seeks to contribute to a student’s moral formation, it necessarily invades the space of religion when explaining what the moral values are and how they should be inherited.”

Thanks to the current Supreme Court’s adherence to the original Constitution as written, Barr said he thinks this is an opportune moment for both court and legislative work to address this existential national crisis.

“Public education was established as a melting pot that would establish a common American identity. How are the public schools doing on that front?” Barr asked, at which the audience burst into laughter. He continued: “The curriculum is now attacking the fundamental legitimacy of our form of government and our founding documents. That’s no way to bring us together as a nation.”

The most direct way to resolve this constitutional and existential crisis in American education is to end the government monopoly over the provision of education, Barr said, with full school choice. (The form of school choice that offers the fewest opportunities for hostile bureaucrats to interfere with parent choices, by the way, is education savings accounts.)

“The variety of American beliefs now makes a monopoly on education untenable,” Barr said. “You can’t finesse it anymore. You can’t pretend what’s being taught in schools is compatible with traditional religion, nor can you pretend schools are neutral anymore.”

Because anti-religious public schools hold a monopoly on public education funds, Barr noted, parents are forced to fight mostly ineffectively over what public schools teach, such as transgender ideology to kindergarteners and anti-white racism. Allowing parents to take their children’s public education dollars to institutions that match their beliefs will end such culture wars, he said, as well as help families more effectively pass their republic-sustaining faith on to their children.

This alone can’t solve the entire existential crisis of the West, Barr conceded: “It’s not a panacea, but I cannot see a way out for us and the way for Christian citizens to live in peace in this republic until we address the educational system.”


Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist, a happy wife, and the mother of six children. Sign up here to get early access to her next ebook, “101 Strategies For Living Well Amid Inflation.” Her bestselling ebook is “Classic Books for Young Children.” Mrs. Pullmann identifies as native American and gender natural. She is also the author of “The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids,” from Encounter Books. In 2013-14 she won a Robert Novak journalism fellowship for in-depth reporting on Common Core national education mandates. Joy is a grateful graduate of the Hillsdale College honors and journalism programs.

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – You Know, the Thing

A.F. BRANCO on July 2, 2021 | https://comicallyincorrect.com/a-f-branco-cartoon-you-know-the-thing/

Don’t depend on public schools to teach your kids patriotism or love of country.

Teach Your Kid Patriotism

Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2021.

A.F. Branco coffee table book “Keep America Laughing (at the left)” ORDER 

Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 –  $5.00 –  $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 –  it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and shared by President Donald Trump.

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – Special Ed

A.F. BRANCO on June 10, 2021 | https://comicallyincorrect.com/a-f-branco-cartoon-special-ed/

Critical Race Theory is unconstitutional but that doesn’t stop public schools from teaching.

CRT in Schools

Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2021

Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 –  $5.00 –  $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 –  it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and shared by President Donald Trump.

CHRISTMAS HEROES: Parents Fighting Anti-Christian Agendas


Written by Kevin Fobbs on December 13, 2014

URL of the Original Posting Site: http://clashdaily.com/2014/12/christmas-heroes-parents-fighting-anti-christian-agendas/

How ironic that as children all across the nation prepares to take part in various Christmas season events that they, in far too many cases, will not be allowed to actually celebrate Christmas. But to be honest, it is far more serious than just celebrating Christmas. Each day millions of students are sent by their parents off to build a solid academic base as well as learn about our American values in school. Those values and principles are built upon Judeo-Christian beliefs. In 2013 there were over 400 biblical principle attacks on children who wanted to read a Bible before or after school or even during lunch break and were denied.com02

When your child returns from the Christmas holidays will he or she still have to learn and embrace the teaching of Islam in the classroom, but have the teaching of biblical history overruled? What happens when the topics your child may be learning are ideals and values that marginalize how you have raised them and articulate an agenda that compromises your family’s religious beliefs? This is not something that can be overlooked simply because the child is heading home for a Christmas break.Confused

Actually this serves as the best time to discuss and share what your beliefs are and reinforce the reasons why you will stand up for them when your child returns to school in the New Year. Don’t accept the erroneous church and state separation argument that liberal school officials try to jam down the throat of Christian parents. Your child has U.S. Constitutional rights and they must be protected.

In 2014, it has become an unfortunate circumstance in far too many communities across America that conservatives and parents of faith find themselves locked out of a parental support system like the school’s parents’ organization. Instead of assisting the parents by standing up for their interests and the interests of their kids, the parent organizational members give them cold to lukewarm support.

So it really is upon you;

  • As a parent what are you willing to sacrifice to stand up and protect your child from a school or a school district that is willing to take away or marginalize your child’s values and principles because it is convenient for them?

  • Are you willing to tolerate unfair and illegal treatment of your child?

  • Are you willing to let the politically correct values of liberal parents and secular anti-Christian organizations dominate your life, principles and support of America’s biblical heritage?real heros

America has a culture that rises up from the deep foundational values that guided the founding fathers. We understand that it is America’s heritage found in small towns, big cities and rural communities that give birth to parental heroes whose actions become larger than life. These are the parents that pray over their decisions at their kitchen table, or in the living room or perhaps during the church service. As a responsible parent they take a stand on principle rather than they should turn over their role and responsibility to the offending teacher, principal, submitting to the will of a partial anti-Christian school administrator or local school board member. They are not like others who take the easy route and conveniently swallow their principles and their values.

Be one of those parents who are not just heroes for their children but are truly American Heroes with a capital H. Join and recruit others in your school, neighborhood and church this Christmas season in the nation’s Heartland.

Take a page from Samuel Adams, who was one of America’s Revolutionary Heroes and a Founding Father. Adams’s father was a church deacon and was deeply influenced by him. Adams spoke of lukewarm supporters saying,

“If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

Let liberty and your children and America’s future generations be your guide and your prayer as you celebrate this Christmas season. There is no tranquility in servitude to political correctness, so take off the politically correct chains of convenience that are used to shackle your children. Praise the birth of the Son of God and fight to protect your child and their future in the New Year as their Hero!

Blog wishes

Our Education System Continues It’s Downward Slide to Destruction


White is not right: Campus admins ask for help weeding out white people

Western Washington University (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)  WHAT DID YOU SAY

Western Washington University sent a questionnaire to students asking them for advice on how the administration could succeed at making sure that in future years, “we are not as white as we are today.” (REALLY??????? WHAT HAPPENED TO GIVING THE STUDENT WITH THE BEST GRADES AND S.A.T. EXAM RESULTS TO OPPORTUNITY SAID STUDENT WORKED THEIR ASS OFF TO ACHIEVE?)

The question notes that WWU’s racial make up does not perfectly reflect the nation at large, and asks students to consider strategies that other universities have used to focus on skin color as the paramount indicator of a student-applicant’s worth.

The president of WWU has stated that his explicit goal is to reduce the white population on campus, according to Campus Reform.

“I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, that we as a faculty and staff and student body, as an administration, if we 10 years from now are as white as we are today, we will have failed as a university,” said Bruce Shepard, president of WWU, in a 2012 address.

The statements and actions of administrators suggest a preoccupation with skin color at WWU. In his address, Shepard made sure to discuss the racial make up of his new hires.

The university is also putting staff members through diversity and sensitivity training on topics such as “heterosexual privilege,” and “language privilege.” Such sessions were made voluntary after some people complained. (RELATED: University staff members forced to undergo reeducation in ‘heterosexual privilege’)

Being the Change I want to See


http://patriotupdate.com/articles/change-want-see/#Hilu0hV3wOqPjWtF.99

Written on Saturday, January 18, 2014 by

Over the past couple of weeks I have had the opportunity to view into our public education system and see firsthand just how bad our system is failing our children. I mentioned the other day that many children, in high school no less, are having difficulty reading. Not only reading; reviewing what was read in order to study seemed like a lost concept to many of them. I sat in front of a class of high school kids and had to teach them how to correlate a title of a paragraph with review questions at the end of a chapter, in order how to determine how to find the answer. In other words, there was no solid study habits ingrained in many of these kids.

If this isn’t bad enough, I taught at a middle school where clear back packs are issued to the students because of the rampant drug and violence problem among eighth graders. Middle schools with drug problems, that’s the reality of education in America today.  Speaking with the students it is clear beyond a reasonable doubt that America will be finished as these generations become adults and are completely clueless as to what is going on around them.  While there are a handful of kids who show an obvious sense of disdain for what they witness in these classrooms, they are the ones who are truly being left behind as the system has to cater to those who simple y don’t care. It’s reminiscent of the Chicago study I wrote about the other day with the lower achieving math students being placed into a class with the higher achieving students. The results obviously favored the lower achieving as the whole system had to be curtailed to meet their needs, thus leaving those thirsting for knowledge behind. This is happening on a much larger scale as schools are forced to deal with behavioral issues, this leaves the students that do behave in the dust because they are being forced to meet the same standard.

Who would be held responsible for something like this, the teacher, the school district, the DOE? I don’t know, but I think it’s a problem because no one is being held responsible for it. I think on one level you have a deliberate attempt to implement standards that lower academic achievement in order to pursue this abstract concept of “total equality” and create compliant citizens. While on another level you have the teachers who went into the profession for all the right reasons and now have no idea how to even identify what is going wrong in the system. Their hands are tied and their job depends upon their compliance.  Not only that; many teachers are completely unaware of many of the topics discussed among conservatives, i.e. the communist infiltration into education etc, etc. It is likely that these teachers are a byproduct of the very system that teaches them just to go along to get along themselves; therefore they are unlikely to buck the system and bring unwanted attention to themselves, which is why it will never change. Folks, we have to buck the system.

If you are a regular reader of my articles, or if you have researched anything about education than you know much of this represents a one hundred year plan to change our culture.  John Dewey, Antonio Gramsci and others viewed education as a means of gaining control of the minds of young people so they could control a population. Reversing this is going to require nothing less than that folks. We have to start now, not with the attitude that we are just realizing our country is being taken over, but with one that acknowledges it already has been. Changing our culture back is not going to happen while conservative minded Americans are more concerned about careers, prestige, retirement plans and their next vacation. All of this feeds into the plans of the socialists that control them. That’s right; this system has been controlled by these people for a long time, that’s why so many are afraid to speak up. When you’re afraid to speak up out of fear of losing your job, or fear of standing out, you are not free; you are serving the system that has silenced you.

Winning our culture back will take nothing less than the same dedication that the socialists have displayed in destroying it. Dedicating one hundred percent of your efforts toward influencing the young minds in this country is what it is going to take. This is why fields like education are completely dominated by liberals; they understand their objective, transforming the hearts and minds of your kids so they reflect the ideals of collectivism. While they were doing this everyone else was distracted by the allure of working hard to achieve the unachievable because it was being destroyed right before our very eyes. While you are setting an example for little Johnny by working hard and saving money, the people you send them off to be educated by are teaching them this system is greedy and you are selfish.  We simply can no longer sit on the sidelines and claim we need change while allowing the socialists to dominate the fields best suited to implement it.

In the past I have written extensively about being educated on Saul Alinsky and social activism in the college classroom. Social work education, at the bachelor level was nothing short of being taught how to be democratic operatives, or “social change agents.” In other words, colleges are teaching your kids how to be radicals, how to be a boat rocker.  Occupy Wall Street was a perfect example of this as many of those people were college students begging for socialism. I tell you this to stress the urgency in which we need to act folks. We have to be the change we want to see and by doing this we have to start becoming the teachers, we have to start becoming the social workers, we have to start showing these kids how the liberals are failing them. We have to take advantage of the dire economic opportunities and use the fact that jobs like teaching and other “social service” related jobs are what is available and stack these positions with motivated conservatives, until; well until one hundred years from now we have changed our culture back.

Maybe I am not saying anything that hasn’t been said before, but after seeing firsthand the extent education in America has been destroyed, from the perspective of a college student arguing with communist professors and as a teacher inside the system, it has to be said again. I can only hope that what I say will resonate.

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