Historically, unions have done some remarkable work in the private sector. However, union officials in the early 1950s began to capitalize on the many extraordinary powers and immunities that were created by legislatures and the courts. This allowed union bosses to no longer depend on rank-and-file workers’ input or support. Starting in the late 1950s, public-sector unions started to grow, and private-sector unions began to decrease.Read More
A growing number of states are adopting a comprehensive new type of school choice program that would pose a threat to public schools if many students were to leave them for a private education.
Eight states – including Arizona, Florida, Indiana, and West Virginia – have approved “universal” or near-universal school choice laws since 2021. They open the door completely to school choice by making all students, including those already in private schools and from wealthy families, eligible for about $7,000 to $10,000 in state funding each year for their education.Read More
The Rutherford County School Board voted on Tuesday to approve American Classical Education’s (ACE) application to build a charter school. The vote was 5-2.Read More
Since the pandemic began, Pennsylvania’s public charter schools enrollment has gone up by almost 12% as parents have chosen to take their children out of traditional public schools.
According to a new report from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, the change isn’t unique to Pennsylvania. Since the 2019-20 school year, the 41 states examined in the report with charter systems had a 7% increase in charter school enrollment and about a 3.5% decrease in public school enrollment.Read More
American’s respect for teachers is high coming out of the pandemic, according to a new EdChoice poll — placing them among doctors and members of the military as some of the most respected professionals in the country.
A whopping 70 percent of Americans respect the men and women who teach our children — yet across the nation, teachers are prevented from making their own decisions when it comes to key aspects of their job: their membership in a teachers’ union.Read More
In Pennsylvania, like much of America, parents will struggle if they want to transfer their children from one public school to another.
In a new policy brief, the Reason Foundation found that only 11 states have mandatory open enrollment laws to let parents transfer children to another public school. Furthermore, if families do switch schools, 26 states let public schools charge tuition for transfer students, making it harder for poorer families to choose a different school.Read More
Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Brian Haas of Del Ray Education in studio to describe the process by which a charter school receives approval in the state of Tennessee and their current status.Read More
A Philadelphia-area public school finance director was sentenced to more than a year in prison after he embezzled $100,000 from a school district over a seven-year period.
Christopher Gehris, an employee in the Phoenixville Area School District and its finance director since 2018, stole $94,613 from the district, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.Read More
More parents in Wisconsin are getting behind the idea of school choice.
The latest Marquette Law School Poll shows 58% of voters in the state support the idea of ending limits on vouchers for private or religious schools. That would open up school choice to more than just low-income families in many parts of Wisconsin. The poll says 33% of voters oppose the idea.Read More
The fight outside North High School in Denver was about to turn more violent as one girl wrapped a bike chain around her fist to strike the other. Just before the attacker used the weapon, school staff arrived and restrained her, ending the fight but not the story.
Most high schools would have referred the chain-wielding girl to the police. But North High brought the two girls together to resolve the conflict through conversation. They discovered that a boy was playing them off each other. Feeling less hostile after figuring out the backstory, the girls did not fight again.
This alternative method of discipline, called “restorative practices,” is spreading across the country – and being put to the test. Many schools are enduring sharp increases in violence following the return of students from COVID lockdowns, making this softer approach a higher-stakes experiment in student safety.Read More
Local taxpayers should not be worried about a large local tax increase in four years if a new public school funding formula is enacted, Tennessee Department of Education (DOE) Commissioner Penny Schwinn said.
An introductory overview of the proposed new formula, which would replace the current Basic Education Program (BEP) created in 1992, from the DOE showed “local contributions are set to be lower in FY24, FY25, and FY26 and begin to increase again in FY27, in an amount similar to prior years so that the new state investment does not overwhelm local requirements.”
During discussion in the House K-12 Subcommittee, however, Schwinn pushed back on the notion there would be a four-year cliff where local governments would see a heightened required local expense for public schools.Read More
The Michigan Department of Education posted a document on its website that encourages people to watch a YouTube video about systemic racism, but it contains inaccurate information about finances in the state’s public school system.
The document was published in July 2020 by an entity called the Governor’s Educator Advisory Council two months after George Floyd was killed in Minnesota by a police officer, and while riots were taking place in many U.S. cities. The document promotes and links to a video titled “Systemic Racism Explained,” telling visitors it “is a good place to start.” But the video suggests that Michigan school districts which service low-income communities get less funding than others. The claim is not accurate; the reverse is true.
The video tells a story of two youths – an African-American child named Jamal and a white child named Kevin – and how their school districts are funded. The fictional students are said to live a few streets from each other.Read More
The American K-12 education system has been failing too many students for too long. And the problem has only gotten worse amid pandemic-era school closures and remote learning.
Increasingly, parents are venting their frustration at local government bureaucracies and teachers’ unions that they believe have too often failed to put the interests of kids first — and some are voting with their feet.
Throughout Covid-19, traditional public school enrollment has dropped by 3.3% (1.45 million students) while charter school enrollment has increased by 7.1% year over year (237,000 students). Families are increasingly taking advantage of other non-traditional schooling options as well: according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the rate of homeschooling nationwide increased by 5.6 percentage points between April and October 2020.Read More
Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn made clear Thursday the state’s new public school funding formula will prioritize teachers and will not outsource teaching responsibilities in the arts.
Schwinn was asked about the outsourcing after questions arose from comments she made during a Feb. 3 steering committee meeting when asked about schools working with nonprofits for art education.
Schwinn clarified Thursday she was referring to the flexibility of getting added help for additional arts programs. She said the new formula, the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement (TISP), would have the same allowances the current Basic Education Program (BEP) has for schools to get additional help for custodial contracts or after-school programs from outside sources.Read More
No, this is not another Qanon or Pizzagate conspiracy theory. It’s a sober recitation of the facts and incidents that can support no other conclusion.
Let’s start with one important stage-setting fact: According to OpenSecrets.org two organizations account for practically all of the contributions made by teachers unions: The National Education Association (about $20 million in 2016) and the American Federation of Teachers (almost $12 million). Both groups — which compete for members, but also collaborate with each other through the NEA-AFT Partnership — are consistently among the organizations that contribute the most money to candidates and political groups. From 2004 to 2016, their donations grew from $4.3 million to more than $32 million — an all-time high.
Even more than most labor unions, they have little use for Republicans, giving Democrats at least 94 percent of the funds they contributed to candidates and parties since as far back as 1990, where the Open Secrets’ data begins. Go here for a detailed breakdown of teachers union political giving.Read More
Perhaps predictably, many public schools kicked off 2022 by switching back to remote learning — or canceling classes altogether — leaving frustrated parents across the country frantically searching for more consistent schooling options.
These past two school years of remote and hybrid learning, forced masking, and an intensified culture of unpredictability has pushed teachers, administrators, students, and parents to very edge. What began as a temporary interruption to student learning has become a vicious cycle of confusion, inconsistency and lost educational time.Read More
The latest school choice plan in Wisconsin would break up Milwaukee’s public schools.
Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, introduced the plan.
“Wisconsin was the first state to give parents more say in their children’s education and future. We have an opportunity to build on our reputation and reclaim our status as a national model for reforming K-12 education,” Darling said in a statement.Read More
The school district that oversees public education in Las Vegas said it will offer teachers and other employees up to $2,000 in bonuses if they stay on amid the current COVID-19 surge and concurrent employment crisis.
Clark County School District said in a statement this week that the CCSD Board of School Trustees had “approved an agreement with all five employee bargaining units to provide eligible regular and full-time employees employed as of January 1, 2022 with a $1,000 COVID retention bonus.”
“CCSD will also pay an additional $1,000 bonus to eligible regular and full-time employees who are employed on May 25, 2022, for a total of $2,000,” the statement added.Read More
The 1619 Project Creator said she doesn’t understand the argument “that parents should decide what’s being taught” to their children in school on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday.
The 1619 project was created by Nikole Hannah-Jones, a writer for The New York Times, and it promotes the idea that America’s ‘true founding’ occurred when slaves arrived in the colonies, framing the history of the country around race and slavery.
“I don’t really understand this idea that parents should decide what’s being taught,” Hannah-Jones said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I’m not a professional educator. I don’t have a degree in social studies or science,” she said.Read More
AMinnesota school district billed a group $900,000 to fulfill a public records request about Critical Race Theory (CRT) in its curriculum.
A law firm representing parent group Equality in Education filed a records request with Rochester Public Schools in southern Minnesota to disclose materials mentioning CRT, the Daily Caller reported.
Wenyuan Wu tweeted: “Serious ask: is it normal for a Minnesota school district to ask $901k for a public records request on its CRT, DEI, SEL … practices?”Read More
The Rittenhouse verdict has unleashed a torrent of stupidity and racist rhetoric from commentators across the country. The usual race peddlers seem to have kicked into high gear—even though everyone involved was a person of pallor.
But for me it only got my blood boiling. Let me explain.
In the course of my management consulting, I’ve been to some of the roughest neighborhoods in the country.Read More
The Pennsylvania House has advanced legislation introduced by Rep. Jesse Topper, R-Bedford, to expand educational offerings for home-school students.
House Bill 1041 amends the Public School Code of 1949 to permit home education students to take advantage of their local high school by attending up to four academic courses in a school day and participating in co-curricular activities. They also would have access to programs offered at career and technical education centers.
Pennsylvania home-school students currently are permitted to participate in extracurricular activities at the high school in their district.Read More
Public education has been under the microscope lately, especially since many states shut down in-person learning last year during the COVID-19 pandemic. With children learning from home via technology, many parents had the chance to hear what their children’s teachers were saying—and they didn’t always like it. In fact, many were downright disturbed by what public schools were teaching their children.
Parents should not be forced to sit by and watch as their children get indoctrinated with progressive ideas they don’t agree with. Assuming it is legitimate for the government—that is, the taxpayers—to fund education, the government should distribute those funds directly to parents in the form of vouchers and allow them to choose where to educate their children. Not only would this allow for more choice in schools, but it would also reduce much of the conflict we are seeing today between parents and school boards across the country.
A common response to voucher proposals is that they would allow parents to use taxpayer dollars to send their children to private religious schools, thus violating separation of church and state. In other words, atheists and progressives argue that they should not have to financially support schools that teach students religious worldviews.Read More
When students are armed with a world class education, they can break down barriers and achieve their deepest dreams. However, in America today, big government and big unions are preventing students from receiving a quality education by forcing American kids to attend the school closest to them, even when it is totally failing. There is no school competition for kids who can’t afford to opt-out of the shoddy school they are forced to attend. This policy and practice especially impacts poor and minority children. But in our home state of California, we’ve had enough of failing government monopolies. We are launching a ballot initiative that will deliver educational freedom to every child in the state, regardless of where they live or how much income their parents earn.
We have all seen government schools that transition from safe havens for learning and hope into depressing institutions that fall short of educating tomorrow’s leaders. Parents are mad, taxpayers are frustrated, and our teachers are not supported by their union bosses. Nowhere is that reality truer than in states where big unions—like the California Teachers Association—control political decision makers with massive campaign war chests seized from their members’ obligatory dues. That’s why Fix California has launched a project to put a ballot initiative in front of voters in 2022—to emancipate students from the government monopoly on education.
Currently, in California, residents are taxed exorbitantly at every turn, with the ruling party’s promise that those dollars will ostensibly be spent on improving the state. That’s a lie on many fronts, but it’s especially untrue in education where failing government schools continue to be rewarded by more tax dollars and virtually no accountability. Tax dollars are siphoned off in the form of required union dues and are funneled straight into the coffers of corrupt unions financing campaigns of politicians who ensure the gravy train keeps flowing. It is a crooked cycle that has destroyed government education across the country.Read More
An unnamed social sciences teacher at a high school Sacramento-area high school is facing disciplinary action after an anti-conservative question appeared on a quiz.
The controversial question was presented in the following manner at Whitney High School:Read More
South Washington County Schools now requires teachers to nurture “anti-racist learning environments” as part of the district’s “racial equity journey,” according to an official policy the school board approved earlier this year.
The South Washington County Schools Board unanimously passed a “Racial Equity and Inclusion Policy” at its Aug. 26 meeting. This policy is “riddled with divisive, blatant and vile racism from top to bottom,” said parent Eric Tessmer, who is now running for school board.
“This is racism from top to bottom. I don’t care how you spin it,” he said at the August meeting. “If policies such as this take hold in our communities and in our institutions, this nation is never going to heal, ever. Ideas such as this are toxic to a civil society.”Read More
The Virginia Education Department promotes pro-Critical Race Theory books despite claims from state officials, including Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, that the curricula is not taught in its public schools.
The state’s Department of Education (DOE) promotes pro-Critical Race Theory (CRT) content on its “What We Are Reading” tab on its website, which compiles a list of resources from the Office of Equity and Community Engagement to recommend reading and develop its own work, Fox News first reported.
The list includes titles such as “Foundations of Critical Race Theory in Education” that “acts to further spur developments in education policy, critical pedagogy, and social justice, making it a crucial resource for students and educators alike,” according to its description.Read More
The backlash from the incendiary language in a recent letter from the National School Board Association to President Biden asking for federal law enforcement to intervene on outspoken parents at school board meetings escalated this week when the group’s Ohio and Missouri chapters withdrew their respective memberships.
The Missouri School Boards Association in announcing its departure said the national group “demonstrated it does not currently align with MSBA’s guiding principles of local governance.”
The Ohio chapter was more direct, saying in its letter Monday that its departure was a “direct result” of the Sept. 29 letter to Biden.Read More
The school board in Mankato, Minnesota, announced strict new rules that effectively prevent parents from criticizing board members.
The new restrictions were announced at a meeting held Oct. 18. “Effective tonight, open forum participants are prohibited from calling out or addressing any individual school board or school district staff member. If this occurs, open forum will be closed,” said School Board Chair Jodi Sapp. “Beginning at the Nov. 1 school board meeting, open forum will be limited to those individuals who wish to speak to an item on the board agenda.”
The effect of these two rules is that parents are not able to discuss anything but topics approved by the board in its agenda and all board members and schools administrators are protected from direct criticism.Read More
The majority of Americans oppose the Biden administration’s plans to monitor and investigate outspoken parents at school boards meetings, new polling from Convention of States Action reveals.
The poll found 57% of those surveyed do not support the announcement while 19.8% are in favor. The rest are not sure.
“…One can plainly see that those who are aware that Merrick Garland made this announcement oppose him by large majorities, while there’s a group who marked ‘not sure’ because they don’t know about his announcement or don’t know enough about it,” said Mark Meckler, president of Convention of States Action.Read More
Many Americans today assume that the threat of Communism subsided with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. But “We continue to see Communist and socialist regimes pop up and spread not only in Latin America – for example, in Venezuela and Nicaragua – but around the world,” says Ambassador Andrew Bremberg, president and CEO of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC). “These regimes regularly kill their own citizens and have a devastating effect on human rights and their national economies.” In fact, over 1.5 billion people – including those living in Laos, North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, and, of course, China – currently live under oppressive Communist and socialist governments.
Founded in 1993 by a bipartisan, unanimous Act of Congress, VOC is “devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to pursuing the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes.”
Before coming to VOC, Bremberg served as the Trump administration’s Representative of the United States to the Office of the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva. During his time there, which he describes as a “profound and life changing experience,” he “became aware of the challenge of China,” which was “far worse” than he had realized. He notes that the U.N. International Human Rights Council made investigating the United States’ record on racism during the summer of 2020 its highest priority – putting it above China’s appalling human rights violations against Uyghurs, among other ethnic groups within its borders.Read More
It’s no secret that the far left has infiltrated higher education with its radical ideas. But now, woke ideology has come for K-12 classrooms across the country.
“As parents, we send our kids to school to learn to think critically, to figure out how to solve problems, and to respectfully discuss and resolve differences of opinion,” Ashley Jacobs, executive director of Parents Unite, said Friday during the new organization’s first conference.
“But,” Jacobs said, “our educational systems are not enabling these skills, and in some cases, [they are] stifling them.”Read More
It is probably an understatement to say that when one group designates another as a terrorist organization, diplomatic relations between the two become strained.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights.”
Truths. Equal. Creator. Rights. Concerned parents want schools to teach truths, not ideologies; operate under equality, not equity; and respect faith in our Creator and our parental rights. These are the fundamental principles from our Declaration that are at stake in American education today.Read More
Destruction of the family has always been at the center of the collectivist project. In chapter two of The Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels point out that the destruction of private property will never be complete until the “abolition [Aufhebung] of the family” is accomplished. The dream is perennial among snarling misanthropists. A couple of years ago, an interview in The Nation with a radical feminist explained that if you “want to dismantle capitalism” then you have to “abolish the family.”
It is worth keeping that in mind as the little drama of Merrick Garland versus the parents of America unfolds. I wrote about the attorney general’s absurd but troubling memorandum shortly after it was released on October 4. As all the world knows (but only some precincts of the world admit), Garland threatened to mobilize the entire police power of the state against parents. Why?Read More
Among last year’s other lessons, none may be more important than this: Our taxpayer-funded education establishment cares more about adults than children.
Consider the evidence: public school union bosses pressured officials to close schools and keep them shuttered beyond what medical authorities recommended. In spite of the obvious harm to children of school closures, unions throughout the country lobbed threats and issued demands. In Chicago, the union went so far as to sue the Mayor to keep schools closed; in San Francisco, the city had to sue its school board.
A public education system that failed to do right by our children has kept union bosses empowered and politicians cowed. Thankfully, our country offers an alternative—one that proved its mettle this past year. In a recent survey of public school and Christian school parents, the Herzog Foundation found that parents of children who attended a Christian school were vastly more satisfied with their school experience.Read More
Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed American Commitment’s Phil Kerpan to the newsmaker line to explain the COVID science and data he found regarding child mask-wearing.Read More
As disruptive as the 2020/2021 academic year was, it led to many positive educational changes that will be transformative and long-lasting. Most notably, parents have been re-empowered to take back the reins of their children’s education from government bureaucrats and teachers unions. Frustrated by school closures and district “Zoom schooling,” families fled public schools in droves over the past year, and there are several signs that these families won’t be returning this fall.
According to an analysis by Chalkbeat and the Associated Press, public school enrollment fell by an average of 2.6 percent across 41 states last fall, with states such as Michigan, Maine, Vermont, and Mississippi dropping by more than 4 percent. These enrollment declines far exceeded any anticipated demographic changes that might typically alter public school enrollment.
How many of these students will be back in a public school classroom next year? Not as many as public school officials hoped.Read More
Last week, Kentucky was the first state legislature to pass a new program to fund students instead of systems this year. The proposal, House Bill 563, would allow eligible students to access scholarships to use at approved private education providers of their families’ choosing. But the Bluegrass State’s Democratic governor, Andy Beshear, blocked educational opportunities for thousands of children by vetoing the bill on Wednesday.
Kentucky requires a constitutional majority in both the House and Senate to override Beshear’s veto, and that vote is expected to happen Monday.
During his press conference announcing the decision, Beshear said that the bill “would greatly harm public education in Kentucky by taking money away from public schools and sending it to unaccountable private organizations with little oversight.”Read More
Teachers unions throughout the US claim to be looking out for the best interests of teachers and students, but they are deeply political organizations with significant influence over what, how, where, and with whom most children learn.
While the nation’s largest teachers unions have long been deeply connected to the Democratic Party and left-wing ideology, this political affiliation has become increasingly apparent in recent months. From hinging their support for reopening schools on outrageous policy demands to launching court battles, threatening strikes, and openly supporting disturbing actions during recent protests, today’s teachers unions are more powerful and dangerous than many parents may realize.Read More
The sign of a good music teacher, I was told as a teenager, is a willingness to allow parents to sit in on lessons. A teacher willing to have parents observe their lessons demonstrates that she has nothing to hide, is open to critique or comments, and is one who partners with parents in helping students succeed. Having witnessed this policy firsthand with my own piano instructor, a woman whose students won competitions and entered world famous music schools, I followed suit when I began teaching myself.Read More
While many public schools across Virginia will keep their doors closed in lieu of virtual classrooms this fall, a private school may be the in-person educational option parents and students are looking for.
Fork Union Military Academy (FUMA) (7-12, male-only) is one such option. The boarding military school is known for its “One Subject Plan.” Students are enrolled in one subject at a time, allowing them to focus on one specific area of study for 7 weeks at a time. FUMA will offer in-person classes and athletics programs during the fall while taking necessary precautions for the health of its students and staff.Read More
Many public schools in Virginia won’t start until the end of August, but Thales Academy in Glen Allen is already off to a strong start for the 2020-2021 school year.
Thales, which is a private school with campuses in Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, started their school year on July 20.Read More
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.Read More
During the second hour, caller David called into the show to inform Leahy about his experience with a Franklin school teacher who he felt was promoting communism in the classroom wall by displaying a poster featuring communist figures like Mao Tse Tung.Read More
In just a couple of weeks, 50 boys with learning disabilities will take to a stage in Vermont, one after the other, to recite the Gettysburg Address from memory. It’s a daring experiment undertaken each February at the Greenwood School and its population of boys who’ve struggled in public schools. Diagnosed with ADD, dyslexia, and executive function impairments, Greenwood’s boys stand before an auditorium full of people (and once even a Ken Burns documentary crew) to recite powerful words many adults would struggle to retain.Read More
I am a glass-half-full kind of person, so while we could focus on the criticisms and some of the setbacks related to expanding educational freedom to more families, there is much more to celebrate than to lament. As National School Choice Week ends, it’s a great time to spotlight the growing variety and abundance of education options available to parents and young people.Read More
According to the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’s (VOC) fourth “Annual Report on US Attitudes Toward Socialism, Communism, and Collectivism,” today’s youth is quite fond of political-economic systems that have resulted in more than 100 million deaths over the past century. At the same time, these misguided youths are increasingly hostile toward the political-economic system that has lifted countles millions more out of abject poverty over the same period.Read More
by Bruce Walker School choice is overwhelmingly supported by likely Democratic primary voters nationwide, according to a recent poll conducted on behalf of Democrats for Education Reform (DFER). Education analysts interpret the poll results as a rebuke of current Democratic Party strategies nationwide in general and, specifically, Michigan Gov.…Read More
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said that it is no surprise “families want more control” over their children’s education.Read More
Plans for the Boston Public Library, the nation’s second-oldest public library, were approved in 1852, the same year Massachusetts passed the country’s first compulsory schooling law. Both public libraries and public schools are funded through taxation and both are “free” to access, but the similarities end there. The main difference between public libraries and public schools is the level of coercion and state power that public schooling wields.Read More