Tennessee Department of Education Faced Lawsuit over Textbook Bias Allegedly Perpetrated by Commissioner Penny Schwinn

A lawsuit alleged that Commissioner Penny Schwinn favored certain textbook vendors without merit at the expense of more qualified vendors. Textbook and educational materials publishing company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) filed the suit against the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) in November of 2019. Consequently, HMH noted that the sale of all other grade levels of reading materials offered by HMH were jeopardized, since they are designed to be implemented together from K-12 curriculum.

The Tennessee State Board of Education acted on the recommendation of an advisory panel appointed by the Textbook and Instructional Materials Quality Commission to not adopt HMH’s third grade reading material. HMH claimed that the advisory panel’s process was disrupted after Schwinn appointed Dr. Lisa Coons as TDOE Assistant Commissioner for Standards and Materials. Thereafter, HMH claimed that the panel re-reviewed and failed HMH’s material, while TDOE adopted programs offered by competitors that also received failing grades.

Read More

Commentary: A One-Size-Fits-All Federal Minimum Wage Makes Zero Sense

President Joe Biden’s new $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief proposal includes a surprising provision: raising the federal minimum wage to $15.

The fight for a higher minimum wage is not new, although it has been intensified by current events. The idea, more specifically, is to provide a “living wage.” Proponents argue that, currently, minimum wage workers cannot afford basic living expenses. But even if one assumes for the sake of argument that this is true and sets aside the fact that small businesses are already on the brink of collapse, it’s impossible to determine one suitable “living wage” for all parts of a vast and diverse country like the United States.

Read More

Largest U.S. Automaker General Motors Plans to be Carbon Neutral by 2040

General Motors announced that it plans to eliminate emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035 and go completely carbon neutral by 2040.

General Motors (GM), the largest automaker in the U.S., announced plans Thursday to go completely carbon neutral globally and produce an all-electric lineup of vehicles by 2040, according to a press release. GM also joined fellow U.S. automaker Ford Motor Company and more than 380 other companies, signing onto the United Nations (UN) “Business Ambition for 1.5 C” climate petition.

Read More

‘The Enemy Is Within’: Pelosi Calls for More Security to Defend Against Republicans Who ‘Want to Bring Guns on the Floor’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for additional security Thursday to defend against members of Congress seeking “to bring guns onto the floor.”

Pelosi said during a press conference that she was in talks to increase security measures because the threat to safety was coming from within the House of Representatives.

Read More

Commentary: The Nature of the Chinese Threat

It is almost impossible to describe adequately how absurd the partisan abrasions of American politics appear after listening to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s virtual address earlier this week to the inevitable World Economic Forum at Davos. A more unlikely setting could not be imagined: Davos is a dingy, cold, little town inhabited by grumpy German Swiss with inferior hotels and restaurants and one of the few benefits of the coronavirus pandemic is that Davos is now virtual and the rigors of its Spartan, humorless, relentless globalism may be moderated somewhat by the comforts of home. 

Read More

New York Young Republicans Plan ‘Re-Occupy Wall Street’ Event over Claims of Corruption

The New York Young Republicans are planning a “Re-Occupy Wall Street” event in New York City after allegations that popular investment platforms are throttling trading of certain stocks to protect big hedge funds.

“We do not want this massive story to get brushed under the rug. We want to keep the spotlight and attention on what Wall Street is doing and what the Biden administration is allowing. This is corrupt and illegal, plain and simple. We need to keep up the pressure,” New York Young Republicans President Gavin Mario Wax told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Read More

Artist Erin Leahy of the Canadian Based Group Leahy Music Joins Host Michael Patrick Leahy to Talk About New Release

Erin Leahy

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Erin Leahy of the Canadian group Leahy Music to the newsmakers line to reflect upon growing up in a home full of music.

Read More

Six Attorneys General Warn Biden Administration of Lawsuits over Executive Orders

Six attorneys general sent a letter to President Joe Biden warning him that many of the executive orders he issued in his first week in office will be challenged on constitutional grounds.

Any actions he takes that might exceed statutory authority, are inconsistent with constitutional law or risk civil liberties could result in legal action brought by states, attorneys general from West Virginia, Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, Montana and Texas warned in the letter.

Read More

Johnson & Johnson’s Coronavirus Vaccine Is 72 Percent Effective, But Offers Weaker Protection Against New Strains

Johnson & Johnson announced on Friday that its coronavirus vaccine was 72% effective in combating COVID-19, but only 57% effective against a novel South African strain.

While slightly less effective than Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines, which were both approved by the FDA in December, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines provides significant distribution advantages that could be crucial in the nation’s fight against the virus. Unlike Pfizer and Moderna, Pfizer’s vaccine is just one shot, and can be stored in refrigerators instead of freezers.

Read More

Biden Regime Embraces ‘Great Reset’ Plan to Destroy Capitalism

The Biden regime is fully embracing a radical globalist plan that seeks to destroy capitalism and replace it with a socialist system.

“The Great Reset” was unveiled at the World Economic Forum (WEC) in Davos, Switzerland last June, using the coronavirus pandemic and “global warming” as pretexts to impose on the world far-left social programs like government-provided basic income, the Green New Deal, universal healthcare, and of course, massive tax increases.

Read More

Florida State Representative Randy Fine Discusses His Recent Letter to Governor DeSantis Addressing Big Tech

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Florida State Representative Randy Fine to the newsmakers line to talk about his recent letter to Governor DeSantis on Big Tech.

Read More

National March for Life Was Mostly Virtual, but Pro-Life Supporters Attended Local Demonstrations Across U.S.

The national March for Life in Washington D.C. looked very different on Friday compared to past years. Normally, thousands of pro-life demonstrators would march through the Capitol in the yearly march, but this year the thousands turned to social media to watch as a few hundred hand-picked representatives of the pro-life movement marched in D.C. By Friday evening, a Facebook livestream of the event had over 200,000 views.

Read More

Legislation Requiring Virginia School Divisions to Offer In-Person Learning Option Advances in Senate

Legislation that would require local school divisions in Virginia to make in-person learning available to all students advanced out of the Senate Education and Health Committee on Thursday with some bipartisan support.

Senate Bill 1303, introduced by Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico), just barely passed out of the committee by an 8-7 vote. All six Republicans voted in favor of the bill and two Democrats joined, while the rest of the committee members opposed.

Read More

Virginia House of Delegates Votes to Remove Statue of Segregationist Governor Harry Byrd, Sr.

The Virginia House of Delegates voted 63 to 34 on Wednesday to remove to storage the statue of former Democratic Governor Harry Byrd Sr. from Capitol Square. Byrd served as governor for four years from 1926-1930, and as Senator from 1933 until 1965. He wielded extensive political power which he used to oppose the New Deal and civil rights legislation. His legacy has come under fire in part because he advocated “Massive Resistance,” an effort to block school desegregation mandated by the U.S. Supreme Court in its 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision.

Read More

Virginia Gov. Northam Supports Ending ‘Inequitable’ Death Penalty as House Bill Passes

Gov. Ralph Northam (D) showed his support Friday as a bill that would end the death penalty in the state passed through a subcommittee in the Virginia House of Delegates.

“The use of capital punishment has been inequitable. The administration strongly supports HB 2263 and abolishing the death penalty. The Office of [Gov. Northam],” Del. Mike Mullin (D-Newport News) said on Twitter, attributing the statement to Northam’s office. 

Read More

New Bill in Georgia Legislature Has Photo ID Requirements for Absentee Voters

Georgia residents who vote absentee in future elections would have to produce photocopies of their identification before they could vote, according to a bill that state legislators will soon consider. State Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R-Dallas), the sponsor, did not return The Georgia Star News’ request for comment Friday.

Read More

Gov. DeWine Releases First-Round Shot Schedule for Ohio Schools

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Governor Michael DeWine (R) announced on Friday the vaccination schedule for Ohio K-12 schools – public, private and career-tech.

DeWine’s administration identified school personnel required for in-person learning and laid out a four-week schedule for those eligible to receive their first jab containing one of the vaccines the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted authorization for emergency use – Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Read More

Census Data Delays Could Impact Virginia’s 2021 Legislative Elections

Thanks to reporting delays with 2020 U.S. Census data, the timeline for Virginia’s newly implemented redistricting process and the 2021 elections for all 100 House of Delegates seats could be impacted.

On Wednesday, a Census Bureau official said the redistricting data for states may not arrive until July 30th or afterward.

Read More

Michigan’s GOP Senate Refuses to Confirm Whitmer Appointees

In an attempt to send a message to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), Michigan’s Republican-led Senate is refusing to confirm her new appointees. 

“The state Senate rejected 13 of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s appointees Wednesday to ‘send a signal that [Republicans are] displeased with [the] governor’s actions and refusal to listen [or] work with [the] Legislature,'” first reported by Michigan Advance. 

Read More

Union Files Complaint Against Minneapolis Schools over Plan to Resume In-Person Learning

A Minneapolis teachers union has filed an unfair labor practice complaint against Minneapolis Public Schools because of the district’s plan to return to in-person learning next month.

The Minneapolis Board of Education voted 6-2 last week in favor of a phased-in return to in-person learning for K-5 students across the month of February. According to the plan, classes will be cancelled from Feb.1-5 to “allow staff to get ready to welcome back students back into buildings,” meaning teachers and staff are required to return to work on Feb. 1.

Read More

Six Dead After Liquid Nitrogen Leak at Georgia Poultry Plant

At least six people were killed and nine were injured in a liquid nitrogen leak at a Georgia poultry plant, officials said.

Firefighters arrived at the Foundation Food Group plant in Gainesville, Georgia just after 10 a.m. on Thursday after receiving reports of burns, said Zach Brackett, a local fire chief, at a news conference.

Read More

Rep. Green Co-Sponsors Bill to Save Women’s Sports

Republicans in the U.S. House, including one from Tennessee, are stepping in to try to stop President Joe Biden from essentially ending women’s sports. 

“Sports are based on the idea of fair competition. Allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports destroys a level playing field and denies women an equal opportunity,” Rep. Mark Green (R-TN-07) said on Twitter. “Today, I cosponsored [Rep. Greg Steube’s] bill to protect the integrity of women’s sports.”

Read More