Audits Find Financial Issues with Some Florida Charter Schools

Classroom

The Florida Auditor General’s office has released two reports that detail significant issues and financial trends in the Sunshine State’s charter schools, charter technical career centers and district school boards.

There are 720 charter schools and charter technical career centers operating in Florida, with the majority in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. State law requires these schools to be annually audited by an independent certified public accountant.

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Corey DeAngelis: ‘Great News’ Universal School Choice Is Included in 2024 Republican Party Platform

Corey DeAngelis

Corey DeAngelis, a school choice activist and senior fellow at the American Federation for Children, applauded the 2024 Republican Party Platform for including universal school choice in its 20-point agenda released earlier this week.

On Monday, the Republican Party unveiled its 2024 platform, which consists of 20 promises Republicans intend to deliver on if Trump is elected back to the White House and Republicans obtain majorities in both the U.S. House and Senate.

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Commentary: The Huge American Sex-Abuse Scandal That Educators Scandalously Suppress

Every day millions of parents put their children under the care of public school teachers, administrators, and support staff. Their trust, however, is frequently broken by predators in authority in what appears to be the largest ongoing sexual abuse scandal in our nation’s history.

Given the roughly 50 million students in U.S. K-12 schools each year, the number of students who have been victims of sexual misconduct by school employees is probably in the millions each decade, according to multiple studies. Such numbers would far exceed the high-profile abuse scandals that rocked the Roman Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America.

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Ignoring Parents’ Objections, Virginia County’s School Board Unanimously OKs Gender Ideology Lessons

Children in Classroom

A Northern Virginia school district will teach kindergartners about gay parents and middle schoolers about transgenderism in the wake of a unanimous vote late last month—despite significant parental opposition.

The Fairfax County School Board unanimously approved changes to its Family Life Education Curriculum on June 27 that include “broadening examples of family structures to be more inclusive of the many different families in our schools.”

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Duke University Dumped Doc Who Exposed Lack of Evidence for ‘Racism’ as a Public Health Crisis

Dr. Kendall Conger, Duke University

Two years ago this month, the University of Pennsylvania law school stopped accusing a tenured professor of making up statistics about black student performance, which she called defamatory, after ignoring requests for the supposedly correct statistics going back four years.

Dean Ted Ruger still sought “major sanctions” against Amy Wax for “intentional and incessant racist, sexist, xenophobic, and homophobic actions and statements,” and disgraced ex-President Liz Magill approved a hearing board’s recommended one-year suspension, slashed pay and mandatory scarlet letter in her public appearances.

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California Joins 26 States in Requiring Students Take Personal Finance Class

Students in Class

Over half of U.S. states now require high school students to receive a financial literacy course before they graduate after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill passed by the California Legislature.

With the passage of California’s law requiring schools to offer a course in personal finance by the 2027-28 school year and requiring the class of 2031 to receive at least one class, a total of 26 states now require students to take a course on how to manage money, according to a nonprofit spearheading efforts to pass such laws.

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Michigan Budget Includes Tuition-Free Pre-K and Community College

Gretchen Whitmer

The recently passed Michigan budget would guarantee tuition-free community college for all residents, and expands access to tuition-free preschool.

The tuition-free community college program is paid for by $330 million in taxpayer dollars, an increase of $30 million from last year. The new program gets rid of income caps, so any student can receive free tuition at an in-district community college.

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Federal Court Halts Biden’s Title IX Regulations in Four New States

Federal Judge John Brooms

Federal judge John Broomes ruled on the side of attorneys general in Kansas, Alaska, Utah, and Wyoming, claiming that Title IX was meant to protect biological women from discrimination in education.

A federal court in Kansas on Tuesday blocked the Biden administration’s Title IX regulations from taking effect in four states, becoming the latest court to stop the new controversial rules from taking effect in August.

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Pennsylvania State Senate Passes Bill to Help Schools Ban Cell Phones

Student with Cell Phone

The Pennsylvania State Senate on Wednesday passed SB 1207, which seeks to amend the Public School Code of 1949 in order to establish a Cell Phone Lockable Bag Pilot Program that would encourage schools to restrict cell phone use among students.

Introduced by State Senator Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster), the legislation would “provide funding to cover the costs of purchasing secure cell phone lockable bags,” which will be available to schools throughout the commonwealth who establish a “policy that prohibits the use of cell phones during school time” and requires students to store their phones in “lockable bags.”

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Commentary: Don’t Let the Department of Education Silence Our Kids

Moms for America

The Founding Fathers recognized that an educated citizenry was vital to the survival of our republic. Thomas Jefferson, for example, saw education as essential to giving every citizen the opportunity to participate meaningfully in a free society.

Writing in 1818, our third president described public education as “the means to give every citizen the information he needs for the transaction of his own business … to express and preserve his own ideas … to improve his morals and faculties … to understand his duties, and to exercise his rights.”

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One of Oldest Women’s Studies Departments in U.S. on Chopping Block, Citing ‘Low Student Interest’

Wichita State University

Wichita State University is closing its women’s studies department, one of the oldest in the country, due to continuously low student interest.

The Department of Women, Ethnicity, and Intersectional Studies will be dissolved and its degree program will be merged with the English Department, according to an action plan approved earlier this month by the Kansas Board of Regents.

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Mean Speech Not Protected at Public Universities, Appeals Courts Rule

Stephen Porter

Faculty at public universities in nine states may have fewer speech protections than they assume following federal appeals court rulings against professors on the political right and left who were punished for perceived lack of collegiality – strong words short of harassment.

But a private university has egg on its face after taking seven months to allegedly clear a professor of wrongdoing for telling anti-Israel campus protesters they are “ignorant” and “Hamas are murderers,” despite having immediate access to both viral video and its own surveillance.

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Tennessee Students Show TCAP Math Score Improvement

Students Testing

Tennessee students showed math test scored improvements since hitting a pandemic low point in 2021, just as occurred in English language arts, according to new data released by the Tennessee Department of Education.

The Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program places results into four categories – exceed, met, approaching and below – compared to student comprehension expectations.

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Commentary: Single-Sex Education Is a Tradition to Reconsider

All Boys School

The last time I was a member of an officially male group, I was 12 and in the Little League. After that, I shied away from them. There was a nearly all-male Catholic high school I earned a scholarship to, but I chose another school and another scholarship. There were still several prestigious all-male colleges to choose from, but I had no desire to go to those places. Princeton got me instead.

But as I look back and as I’ve grown more aware of what colleges used to be like, I wonder why we take for granted the superiority of having boys and girls, or young men and women, together everywhere and all the time. Shouldn’t there be at least some places that are otherwise? Here, one of the tenets of the progressive creed, that people’s sexual proclivities ought to be championed no matter what they are, is in flat contradiction with another one of the tenets, that all-male institutions are to be eliminated.

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Commentary: Honest Pros and Cons of Homeschooling

Homeschool

It’s true. Sometimes homeschoolers do school in their pajamas.

But that wasn’t the norm in my home when I was growing up. Generally, my mother kept us to a set schedule. Piano practice was at 8:15 sharp. Math class started at 9:00. The other subjects fell into place around that. Often, we finished our work by lunchtime, after which my sister and I would go outside and play in the woods behind our house, read, draw, or work on some other personal hobby.

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Obama-Appointed Judges Strike Down Parts of Biden’s Student Loan Repayment Plan

President Biden with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona

Obama-appointed federal judges blocked parts of the Biden administration’s Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan on Monday in response to Republican states’ lawsuits.

Judge John A. Ross of Missouri and Judge Daniel Crabtree of Kansas blocked parts of the administration’s SAVE plan, which was an income-driven repayment program intended to lower monthly costs for borrowers. The court rulings prohibit the Department of Education from further lowering payments or eliminating more debt through the program, Politico reported.

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Attorney General: Student Loan Ruling ‘a Huge Win for South Carolina’

Alan Wilson

South Carolina’s attorney general called a federal judge’s decision to block part of President Joe Biden’s latest push to delay or cancel roughly half a trillion dollars in student debt “a huge win for South Carolina.”

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree in Kansas and U.S. District Judge John Ross in Missouri issued separate rulings halting Biden’s plan, dubbed the Saving on a Valuable Education — or SAVE — Plan. Republican attorneys general, including South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, filed a lawsuit challenging the plan.

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Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules Against First Publicly-Funded Religious Charter School

Gentner Drummond

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that the approval of what would have been the nation’s first publicly-funded religious school was unconstitutional, according to court records.

Oklahoma’s Virtual Charter School Board voted to approve an application for a virtual religious charter school in June 2023, prompting state Republican Attorney General Gentner Drummond to file a lawsuit in October to block the funding, calling it “an irreparable violation of our individual religious liberty” and “an unthinkable waste of our tax dollars.” The Oklahoma Supreme Court ultimately sided with Drummond on Tuesday, finding that “under Oklahoma law, a charter school is a public school” and that “as such, a charter school must be nonsectarian,” per court filings.

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Covenant Killer Audrey Hale Wrote in Journal About Training with Firearm She Purchased with Pell Grant, Concealed in Family Home

Gun Range

Covenant School killer Audrey Elizabeth Hale wrote in the journal police recovered from her vehicle about training at a Nashville gun range with one of the weapons she purchased using federal Pell Grant funds and concealed in her family home.

The Tennessee Star confirmed on June 5 it obtained Hale’s journal and a tranche of police documents from a source familiar with the Covenant investigation, and on June 6, including a journal entry in which Hale claimed to witness an accidental firearm injury while training at a Nashville gun range just two days prior to her devastating March 27, 2023 attack.

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State Representative Scott Cepicky: Tennessee’s Public Education Has Opportunity to Be Improved Through Both Universal School Choice Program and Reform Measures

MPL and Cepicky Interview

Tennessee State Representative Scott Cepicky (R-Culleoka) said the Tennessee House version of the universal school choice bill that failed to pass the General Assembly earlier this year is “eerily similar” to the Wisconsin school choice bill that passed the state’s legislature nearly 14 years ago.

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Nearly a Third of ‘Pro-Palestine’ Campus Protesters Had a Job Offer Rescinded, Survey Finds

Pro-Palestine protesters

A recent survey found that 3 in 10 college students or recent graduates had job offers rescinded as a result of their “pro-Palestine” activism.

Intelligent surveyed 672 students or recent college graduates who have engaged in anti-Israel activism and found that 29% of them had a job offer rescinded in the past six months and 55% believe there was bias against them in the hiring process because of their activism.

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Commentary: America Doesn’t Need Federal Homeschooling Standards

Home Schooling

Some of you may remember that four years ago this week I debated Harvard Law School Professor Elizabeth Bartholet who called for a “presumptive ban” on homeschooling. The online event was hosted by the Cato Institute and drew thousands of participants, including many homeschooling families who were incensed by Bartholet’s proposal.

Now, Scientific American is joining the crowd of busybodies eager to constrain a family’s right to raise and educate their children how they choose. “The federal government must develop basic standards for safety and quality of education in home­school­ing across the country,” read a recent editorial in the magazine.

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Foreign Aid and Student Loan Forgiveness Behind Massive Increase in Deficit Estimate, Congressional Budget Office Says

Joe Biden

America’s debt is growing faster than previously expected, largely due to actions taken by the Biden administration and recent legislation, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The United States’ projected deficit is $1.9 trillion for the 2024 fiscal year, $400 billion higher than it was projected to be in February, the CBO announced Tuesday. CBO analysts increased their estimate due in large part to the foreign aid package signed by President Joe Biden in April and his administration’s efforts to reduce student loan balances.

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Minnesota Parents Petition School Board for Improved Safety in Schools

Ashley Ashbeck

A petition was presented to the Hopkins School Board during a June 11 meeting, calling on the board to provide a safe environment for students in Hopkins Public Schools following a violent incident that occurred at the end of May.

“We, the undersigned members of the Hopkins Public Schools community, are deeply concerned about the violent assault last Thursday against a transgender student at Hopkins High School,” the petition reads. “Just two days prior, there were three fights at the high school and the police were called to prevent a fourth.”

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Biden Rule Extending Title IX to Trans Students Blocked in More GOP States

Girls Basketball

A federal judge in Louisiana has temporarily blocked four more states from expanding the Biden administration’s new Title IX policy to protect LGBTQ+ students.

The Biden administration’s new Title IX policy outlined federal protections for LGBTQ+ students and victims of sexual assault while expanding the definition of sexual harassment for schools and universities. The new Title IX provisions collide with Louisiana’s “Women’s Safety and Protection Act” which requires individuals to use the bathroom based on their sex, prohibiting transgender people from using bathrooms and other close-quartered facilities corresponding with their gender identity, according to the court documents.

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Commentary: The Parallel Education System Can Fix America’s Education Problem

Home Schooling Parents

Millions of Americans have woken up to the fact that their education system is rotten to the core. As elite universities are engulfed by antisemitic riots, their veil of prestige has been torn to shreds. It is by now clear to many that, in the words of Christopher Rufo, the radical left has conquered everything.

What, then, is to be done? Many, Rufo included, are doing their best to stem the tide of revolutionary ideology through direct political engagement. Their hard work is paying off. In recent months, universities are beginning to move away from mandatory diversity statements. This is just the beginning.

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16-Year-Old Minnesota Girl Speaks Out About Having to Share School Restrooms and Locker Rooms With Males

Women's Locker Room

A 16-year-old Minnesota girl forced to share private spaces with males under a public school transgender policy says that girls deserve privacy in their restrooms and locker rooms.

“It’s really uncomfortable, because I was in gym class, and I was just about to change, but then I heard this voice, and I was, like, ‘That does not sound right.’ So, I look, and it’s a male,” said the rising junior at Stewartville High School, who asked to remain anonymous to speak freely on the controversial issue.

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Teachers Union Issues List of Climate Demands as Students Struggle to Read at Grade Level

Chicago Teachers Union

The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) is making climate-related demands in contract negotiations as the city’s students continue to struggle mightily in the classroom, according to E&E News.

The CTU will push the city to include initiatives like electric school buses, green jobs training programs for students and reducing emissions from buildings with solar panels and other retrofits, among other initiatives, according to E&E News. Those demands are being made while 2023 testing data shows that about 75% of Chicago’s public school students were unable to read at grade level and 83% of students were behind grade level proficiency in math, according to the Illinois Policy Institute.

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Unorthodox Pennsylvania Program Challenges Traditional School Curriculum

Students enrolled in the Total Learning Experience program

An unorthodox learning program percolating across Pennsylvania schools infuses business innovation into traditional curriculum, leaving lawmakers split on its effectiveness.

Dr. Adelle Schade, founder of the Total Learning Experience, told a joint Senate committee on Tuesday about how she “reimagined” school curriculum to help students “win at capitalism.”

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Pennsylvania Charter Schools Hit Hard in Proposed Funding Formula

Dr. Anne Clark

A bill altering the state’s public school funding formula passed the lower chamber Monday, spawning both fanfare and consternation among lawmakers.

While supporters call the plan a victory for students held back by economic disparities, critics point out that 64 of the bill’s 87 pages focus on cutting financial support and tightening regulations for charter schools to save money.

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Florida University Civic Center Aims to Become ‘Premier Think Tank’ on Economic Freedom

Carlos Diaz-Rosillo

Florida International University’s civics center has made an international impact in its first four years of existence by bringing together politicians and private sector leaders to promote individual and economic freedom.

The Adam Smith Center for Economic Freedom at the Miami university came about through efforts by Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state legislature to bolster Western democratic thought in higher education. In 2023, DeSantis signed additional legislation to boost civic education centers in the state’s public universities.

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