Tennessee Governments Spend an Average of $9,619 Per Public-School Student

State and local governments in Tennessee spend on average a little more than $9,600 for each student in public school, according to a report by the Tennessee comptroller’s office, but per-pupil spending varies widely based on the type of school district and the population it serves.

School-level data reporting on per-student spending is available to the public this week for the first time. An interactive map and dashboard displays data from across the state. The comptroller’s Office of Research and Education Accountability created the resources in response to a federal law that requires states to report school-level data on per-student spending.

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Eight Senators Propose Extending Daylight Saving Time to Year-Round

A bipartisan group of senators has reintroduced the Sunshine Protection Act, which would extend daylight saving time to year-round, rather than keep it at eight months. One of those lawmakers, Sen. Marco Rubio, says the change would “give our nation’s families more stability throughout the year.”

The Florida Republican and seven colleagues from both sides of the aisle are co-sponsors of the measure, which would eliminate the need to reset clocks an hour ahead near the end of winter and back an hour in the fall.

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Survey: Majority of Freelance Writers Worry PRO Act Will Harm Their Earning Potential

The PRO Act, which passed the U.S. House Tuesday on a largely partisan vote, could eliminate most forms of independent contracting, gig work and freelancing – potentially impacting as many as 59 million freelance workers who represent 36 percent of the total U.S. workforce.

In 2020, the freelance community accounted for $1.2 trillion in earnings, according to a report published by UpWork.

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University of Wisconsin-Madison Student Government Votes to Double Ethnic Studies Graduation Requirement

Citing an increase in “bias” and “hate” on campus, the UW-Madison student government recently voted unanimously to double the ethnic studies requirement needed to graduate from three credits to six.

“UW-Madison is responsible for providing students with the knowledge to become more understanding and empathetic individuals,” Associated Students of Madison committee leaders said in a news release following the vote.

“Increasing the Ethnic Studies Requirement is a way to combat current systemic racism and encourage a dialogue around its history,” the group said.

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‘Anti-Racism’ Advocates Come for the Books

The University of Pennsylvania’s Carey Law School hosted a panel event called “Decolonizing the Stacks,” which provided examples of eliminating bias and discrimination from its library systems.

The event was part of Penn Carey Law’s thirteenth annual public interest week, dubbed “Reforming the Nation: Working Towards Racial Justice.”

Amanda Runyon — moderator of the panel and Associate Dean and Director of Biddle Law Library — opened the discussion by defining “decolonizing libraries” as “the process of de-centering whiteness and being more inclusive to voices of color and voices representing diverse perspectives.” She encouraged fellow librarians to consider the impact of their “centering of White, Western norms.”

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Months After Gutting Police Budget, Portland Mayor Asks for $2 Million to Stop Surging Murder Rate

Democratic Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler submitted a request to the Portland City Council on Thursday for a one-time $2 million expenditure for police, months after the council voted to cut nearly $16 million from the police bureau’s budget.

Wheeler, who previously advocated for the Portland Police Bureau’s budget to be cut, cited a dangerous surge in gun violence throughout the city as the primary reason for requesting the funds, according to the Oregonian.

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Phill Kline Commentary: Criminalizing Dissent is a Direct Assault on Our Founding Ideals

John Adams, in humility, had “firmness in the right as God [gave] him to see the right,” and he submitted his political future to choosing right.

Even the severely abridged version of history taught in most elementary and high schools generally includes the story of how Adams agreed to lead the legal defense of the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre. It’s cited, accurately, as a defining moment in the development of American jurisprudence, establishing the principle that everyone is entitled to adequate representation when standing accused of a crime before a court of law.

Adams made a robust and thorough defense that helped his clients successfully escape the most significant charges against them. It was a victory for the rule of law over popular passions.

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Eleven States File Motion to Intervene in Ninth Circuit Case over Public Charge Rule

Eleven states, led by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, have filed a motion to intervene in a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals case over challenges to a 2018 public charge rule change that required immigrants coming to the U.S. to prove they could financially support themselves.

The Biden administration removed the rule change, effective March 9. Subsequently, the Department of Homeland Security announced on March 11 it will no longer apply the rule.

In a statement, it said it had “closed the book on the public charge rule and is doing the same with respect to a proposed rule regarding the affidavit of support that would have placed undue burdens on American families wishing to sponsor individuals lawfully immigrating to the U.S.”

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Bezos to Spend $10 Billion by 2030 on Climate Change

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos who announced plans to step down as Amazon’s CEO last month to focus on philanthropic and science interests, is set to spend the $10 billion he invested in the Bezos Earth Fund by 2030, the Associated Press reported.

Bezos announced the fund in February 2020, but he offered few details on how exactly the money would be distributed. Andrew Steer, who for eight years has been the head of the environmental nonprofit World Resources Institute (WRI), will be the fund’s CEO.

In a series of tweets, Steer revealed very few details, however he did say Bezos’ “goal is to spend it down between now and 2030.”

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University of Florida Spends $38k on ‘Anti-Racist’ Training that Discourages ‘All Lives Matter’

The University of Florida spent $38,000 on a new diversity, equity, and inclusion training for students that is “not a requirement,” but has a due date.

The training is similar to those that students take relating to alcohol, drug usage, and sexual harassment. Within the diversity training, students are prompted to take quizzes, watch videos, and read about different issues relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

This new course is part of the university’s wider anti-racism initiative that includes removing its “gator bait” chant, and reviewing name changes for various buildings as well as monuments across campus, according to The Alligator.

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Commentary: The Latest Attack on Gig Workers

business meeting

The whole point of the Biden administration’s budget-busting $1.9 trillion stimulus bill is to aid struggling workers after the COVID-19 shutdowns obliterated their earnings. The legislation is also, as CNN described it, “a platform for a generational transformation of the economy to benefit the least well-off Americans and alleviate poverty.”

If the administration wants to boost the prospects of less-well-off Americans, it could loosen the shutdowns so they can get back to work. It could increase opportunities for poor Americans to have alternatives to the public school systems that leave their kids ill prepared for the new economy — or at least encourage its teachers union allies to stop resisting plans to reopen the schools (something that hurts the poor the most). That would be transformative.

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China Demands to be in Charge of Global ‘Vaccine Passport’ System

On Tuesday, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) publicly petitioned for the World Health Organization (WHO) to let the Chinese government take charge of a proposed “vaccine passport” system for the entire world in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic that China started, as reported by Breitbart.

The proposal appeared in the Global Times, a Chinese government-run newspaper, which said that China could utilize its connections to Big Tech companies in order to build and sustain an international tracking system for any individuals who either have or have not yet received a coronavirus vaccine.

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Commentary: House Republican Leader Supports a Democrat-Backed ‘Popular Vote’ Scheme

In 2011, before serving for the House of Representatives’ 6th Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN-06), current chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, was a national spokesperson for the National Popular Vote initiative, legislation that forms a state-to-state compact with other states agreeing to pledge their state’s electors in the Electoral College to the winner of the national popular vote once participating states reach 270 electoral votes.

This would effectively eliminate the current winner-take-all system in the Electoral College, which has been in place since the election of 1824, whereby whoever wins the popular vote in a state wins the state’s electoral votes.

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Political Ads and Gun Shows: A GOP Gubernatorial Update

The Republican Party of Virginia has finally selected a clear nomination process, and the GOP gubernatorial candidates are working to register delegates who will vote for them in the unassembled convention. They’re also attending gun shows, launching new political ads, and attacking the Virginia Parole Board.

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Students of Color Liberation Front Sends More Than 100 Demands to the University of Michigan

Student activists from a coalition of racial identity groups sent the University of Michigan administration an 18-page list with more than 100 demands.

“We, the Students of Color Liberation Front, unwavering in our commitment to liberate all peoples on campus, call for the University of Michigan to realize our collective demands,” the letter said.

The signers behind the letter include the Black Student Union, the Arab Student Association, La Casa, the United Asian American Organizations and Students Allied for Freedom and Equality.

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Ohio’s Professional Sports Teams Want Piece of Gaming Action

Ohio’s professional sports teams want a piece of sports gambling in the state when and if it ever comes.

Testifying this week before The Ohio Senate Select Committee on Gaming, Cincinnati Reds Chief Financial Officer Doug Healy told lawmakers professional sports organizations recognize the potential benefits of sports gaming.

“It is imperative that Ohio’s sports betting market include access to both mobile and retail sportsbooks for Ohio’s professional teams so that, as the content creators, we share in both the risks and the benefits, just like the casinos,” said Healy, who also said he was speaking on behalf of the Cleveland Indians.

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Pelosi Leaves Swalwell on Intelligence Committee Despite Past Relationship with Chinese Spy

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is leaving Rep. Eric Swalwell on the House Intelligence Committee, she announced on Friday, despite the California Democrat’s close contacts with an alleged Chinese spy.

Swalwell for years maintained contact with Christine Fang, a Chinese national who the FBI determined was working covertly as an intelligence agent for the Chinese Ministry of State Security.

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University of Minnesota Pays Former Obama Task Force Member $25k Per Month for ‘Consulting’

The University of Minnesota paid a consulting firm headed by a former Obama task force member $25,000 per month for a “comprehensive review” of the school’s police force, according to documents obtained exclusively by Campus Reform.

Cedric Alexander’s consulting firm, CL Alexander Consulting, was hired by the University of Minnesota on August 12, 2020, after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

According to a university spokesperson, the contract was in effect until early February, meaning that the University of Minnesota spent at least $134,000 on the police review.

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Rep. Ilhan Omar Reintroduces Legislation to Cancel Rent, Mortgage Payments

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Thursday reintroduced a bill that would guarantee full payment forgiveness on nationwide rent and home mortgage payments throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Currently many outstanding payments during the coronavirus are in forbearance, which are fully owed payments due in the future, according to a Breitbart report. Under Omar’s plan, titled the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act, such forbearance would be totally forgiven. There would be no accumulation of debt for renters or homeowners, as well as no negative impact on a person’s credit rating or rental history.

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Colonial Downs Announces In-Person Racing to Begin July 19

After closing the 2020 racing season early due to COVID-19, Colonial Downs Racetrack is announcing 21 live racing dates running from July 19. Premium tickets go on sale on Monday, but general admission and parking are free.

“As we enter our third year of racing, Colonial Downs looks forward to once again hosting top horses and horsemen from across the country with daily purses offered amongst the highest during the summer months,” Vice President of Racing Operations at Colonial Downs Group Jill Byrne said in a press release. “The past year of the pandemic has been so challenging for everyone, we can’t wait to see our wonderful fans and supporters safely enjoying the excitement of live horse racing.”

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Georgia’s Net Tax Collections Total Nearly $2B in February

Georgia’s decision to delay processing tax year 2020 individual returns helped lead to a net tax collection of nearly $2 billion in February.  

Georgia followed the Internal Revenue Service’s guidance of not accepting and processing 2020 returns until Feb. 12. The deferment led to a delay in tax refunds, which resulted in higher than usual individual income tax collections, Gov. Brian Kemp’s office said in a news release.

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Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan Wants Moderation, Tells Georgia Republicans that Donald Trump is Not a Real Leader

Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R-Cumming) told a nationally-televised audience Sunday that his fellow Republicans should move past former U.S. President Donald Trump and forget passing certain election reform bills. Duncan said this on NBC’s Meet the Press.

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Tennessee Star Journalist Jason Reynolds Passes Away After a Lifetime of Friends, Family, Faith, and Love

Murfreesboro resident Jason Reynolds, who wrote for The Tennessee Star, The Murfreesboro Post, and the Shelbyville Times-Gazette and passed away Friday at the age of 46, due to complications from COVID-19, used his talents and his faith to perform many difficult jobs.

Newspaper reporter.

Editor.

Podcast host.

Author of whimsical children’s books about life in Tennessee nearly 100 years from now.

Last but not least, Reynolds was a devout Christian who spoke to mass audiences about the power of Christ’s love and forgiveness.

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