Thales Academy Opens First Rural County School in Pittsboro, North Carolina

Thales Academy opened the doors of its brand new building in Pittsboro, North Carolina, Monday, as about 100 students from the academy’s Cary campus moved to the new facility in rural Chatham County.

“Chatham is the first time that Thales has been in a rural county,” Bob Luddy, the founder and chairman of Thales Academy, told The Star News Network. “So, my thought was having a facility of that quality in a rural county that’s a private initiative is going to change the way people think about K-12 education.”

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Biden Education Department ‘Declares War’ on Charter Schools as School Choice Becomes Overwhelmingly Popular in America

As more families and teachers flee government schools, the Biden administration – bound to the teachers unions – has now “declared war” on charter schools, as Robert Maranto, editor of the Journal of School Choice, wrote at National Review Monday.

The Biden education department is now on a path to sabotage the federal grant program that funds charter schools, public schools that are privately managed, with its proposal of new rules that appear to actually deter applicants from seeking grants.

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Georgia Senate Ed Committee Passes School Choice Bill, Three of Four Dems Opposed Sent Their Children to Private Schools

The Georgia Senate Education Committee approved a bill that would create education savings accounts for children across the state and, ultimately, fund students over government school systems.

The Georgia Educational Freedom Act (SB601) passed out of committee by a vote of 6-4, but, as the Daily Caller reported Wednesday, three of the four Democrats on the committee who voted down the bill sent their children to private schools.

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Delegate Tim Anderson Commentary: A Legal Analysis of Executive Order Two – Masks in Schools

I have received many requests from you regarding how Gov Youngkin’s order applies to school masking requirements.

For private schools – the answer is easy. Private schools were ordered by the former health commissioner to require masking in schools. That order is rescinded. Private schools should rely on the parental choice option and create a policy allowing mask wearing to be optional.

Public schools: This is more complicated. Last year a law was passed (SB1303) that requires public schools (only public – not private) to be open for in-person learning 5 days weeks while requires “ii) provide such in-person instruction in a manner in which it adheres, to the maximum extent practicable, to any currently applicable mitigation strategies for early childhood care and education programs and elementary and secondary schools to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 that have been provided by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

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State Representative Mike Sparks First to Sign ‘Education Freedom Pledge’

State Representative Mike Sparks (R-Smyrna) was the first to sign the American Federation for Children (AFC) “Education Freedom Pledge” this week. The pledge seeks to unite lawmakers, candidates for office, and voters around the important issue of education freedom.

In a statement shared with The Tennessee Star, Representative Sparks said that “Parents should be in control of their child’s education, and they have the right to not only make their voices heard, but choose the best educational option that fits their child’s needs. I was proud to sign the pledge, and lend my support to this important cause.”

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Senate, House Pass Michigan Opportunity Scholarship Bills

In what was characterized as a blow against the state constitution’s Blaine amendments, members of the House and Senate on Tuesday passed a slate of bills aimed at providing opportunity scholarships for Michigan students.

Senate Bills 687 and 688 and House Bills 5404 and 5405 all passed mainly along party lines, with Republicans supporting the legislation and Democrats in opposition. Each chamber’s respective education committees moved the bills forward earlier in the day.

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Report: America’s Top 25 Private Schools Are Pushing Anti-Racism, ‘Equity’ Initiatives

A website that tracks critical race theory (CRT) in K-12 schools and higher education institutions released a study Monday that shows CRT, “equity” and other initiatives are being pushed at the U.S.’ top 25 elite private schools, according to a database compiled by CriticalRace.org.

Some of the schools “have embraced CRT explicitly, while others have a continuum of programming, such as ‘antiracism,’ ‘equity,’ and ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’ that does not easily fit into a Yes/No construct,” according to the CriticalRace.org database. The database found that seven of the 25 schools has a mandatory form of anti-racism training, while 20 of the 25 schools had some type of anti-racism, CRT or diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) requirement.

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Nashville Has Three of Tennessee’s Top Five Private Schools, According to a National Ranking

aerial view of Lausanne Collegiate School

This week, Niche rolled out its “2022 Best Private Schools in America” list and revealed which Tennessee private schools ranked highest out of the national pool. Niche is a website that gathers data on schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces in order to help people decide the best places to go to school, live, or even work.

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Arizona Charter Schools Add Thousands of New Students Amid COVID-19 Closures

Arizona’s charter schools experienced a rush of new applications amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools released a compilation of state-by-state data on charter school enrollment compared with enrollment in the 2019-2020 school year. It found nearly 240,000 new students enrolled in charter schools nationally, a 7% increase from the prior year.

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Demand for Gov. Ducey’s School Vouchers to Leave Arizona Schools That Mandate Masks or Require Unvaccinated Students to Quarantine Exceeds Funds

Doug Ducey

Just three weeks after Gov. Doug Ducey announced that school districts issuing mask mandates or requiring vaccinated students to quarantine would be penalized by diverting money to students to use as school vouchers to attend elsewhere, demand has exceeded the $20 million he allotted by twice the amount. Ducey announced on August 17 that money the state received from the federal government through the pandemic-generated American Rescue Plan to boost per-pupil spending would not go to any of those schools.

Ducey made the announcement immediately following a demand on August 11 from Republican state legislators to take action regarding those school districts. They suggested that Ducey could withhold federal funds and offer vouchers, which he did, but he did not go so far as following their recommendation of suing the school districts.

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Precedent Matters: Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Questions the Slippery Slope of Bill Lee’s Executive Order Regarding Masks in School

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in studio to discuss the lack of clarity in Bill Lee’s executive order for K12 mask mandates.

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Homeschoolacademy.com CEO Jessica Parnell Outlines Program Choices and Increase of Enrollment

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Bridgeway Academy’s CEO Jessica Parnell to the newsmakers line to discuss the boom in homeschooling and information about their curriculum and services that help homeschool parents.

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Ohio Public Schools, Colleges Cannot Require COVID-19 Vaccine

Young girl wearing a mask and reading a book in school

Ohio public schools, colleges and universities cannot require COVID-19 vaccines after Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill that originally was introduced to help military families.

The Ohio Senate amended House Bill 244, which passed in late June along party lines, to prohibit public schools from requiring any vaccine not fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and from discriminating against unvaccinated individuals. The FDA approved COVID-19 vaccines on an emergency basis.

The bill also allows military families moving into Ohio to enroll their children in school virtually or through advanced enrollments before they move into the state.

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IWF’s Carrie Sheffield Weighs in on Wokeism, Critical Race Theory, and the ‘Manifestation of a Liberal Wishlist’

Carrie Sheffield

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Independent Women Forum Senior Fellow Carrie Sheffield to the newsmakers line to weigh in on the woke critical race theory permeating America’s K12 public school system and the small percentage of dollars dedicated to real infrastructure in Biden’s plan.

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Guzman and Davis Debate Future of Education in Virginia

Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William) and Delegate Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach), who are both running for lieutenant governor, started their education debate on Twitter during the 2021 General Assembly session. On Saturday, the two candidates met on Zoom to continue their discussion about the future of education in Virginia.

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Metro Nashville School Board Member Fran Bush Discusses How Teachers Must Sit Back and Wait for Failed Leadership

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist and Metro School Board member Fran Bush to the studio to discuss how Nashville’s leadership has failed public school students and their parents.

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Buckeye Institute Joins COVID-19 Amicus Brief: Private School Closures Could Cost Taxpayers $252M

The Buckeye Institute Wednesday joined an amicus brief supporting private school students in a July 7 lawsuit between several states and the federal government.

At issue is a federal rule initiated by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, directing the U.S. Department of Education to share federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) funds between private and public schools. 

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Survey: Private, Charter Schools More Likely to Provide Meaningful Education During Shutdowns

Several reports and national surveys indicate that private and charter schools provided more meaningful educational services during state shutdowns than public schools did, and more parents are choosing nontraditional educational options this fall.

A nationally representative survey conducted by Education Next found that while there was “a lot of lost ground on learning” during coronavirus shutdowns in the spring semester, there was “a more robust response in the charter school sector and in the private school sector” among respondents.

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Analysis: Public School Funding Per Student Averages 80 Percent More Than Private Schools

According to the New York Times, one of the main reasons why public K–12 schools are reopening more slowly from Covid-19 lockdowns than private schools is because public schools generally have less money. Times reporter Claire Cain Miller makes this claim three times in a single article, but her assertion is the polar opposite of reality and has been so for decades.

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Crom Carmichael: If You Are a Black or Hispanic Person That Cares About Children’s Education Then Donald Trump is the Clear Choice for President

Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio.

During the second hour, Carmichael weighed in on Joe Biden’s recent advocacy for teachers and not students in his endorsement of the National Education Association (NEA) during a virtual assembly last Friday. He stated that Donald Trump is the clear choice for Blacks, Hispanics, and other people of color that care about their children’s education.

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Conservatives Praise Supreme Court for Ruling States Can’t Discriminate Against Religious Schools

The U.S. Supreme Court said Tuesday that states can’t cut religious schools out of programs that send public money to private education in a 5-4 ruling. 

Hailed as a victory for religious freedom, the justices upheld a Montana scholarship program that allows state tax credits for private schooling in which almost all the recipients attend religious schools.

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