CDC: Administrative Federal Agency Charged with Americans’ Health and Safety Flooded With Credibility Problems

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is only one example of an administrative federal agency run by unelected bureaucrats, it is one charged with ensuring Americans receive truthful health and safety information, a daunting role for an organization now engulfed with concerns about its credibility.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky wrote in a letter made public this week her agency did not conduct a type of analysis on reports made to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) regarding COVID shots during 2021. Her agency, however, indicated otherwise in its documents and through some of its other representatives.

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Biden Administration Awards over $7 Million to ‘Elevate Parent Voices in Education’ After Smearing Vocal Parents as Potential ‘Domestic Terrorists’

The Biden education department announced Thursday it was awarding more than $7 million in competitive grants to eight organizations that have worked to achieve what the department calls “the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing efforts to enhance and increase parent and family engagement in local education.”

Grants from the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFEC) program, the announcement states, “provide financial support to organizations that offer technical assistance and training to state educational agencies and school districts that effectively engage families over policies, programs, and activities that lead to improvements in student development and academic achievement.”

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Biden Education Secretary Miguel Cardona Blames Abysmal U.S. Student National Test Scores on Trump

The Biden education department announced Thursday that U.S. students’ plummeting scores in reading and math during the COVID-19 pandemic is all due to former President Donald Trump.

“Today’s data confirm the significant impact the prior Administration’s mismanagement of the pandemic has had on our children’s progress and academic wellbeing,” said Biden Education Secretary Miguel Cardona Thursday, following the report that U.S. students showed their steepest decline in decades in math and reading scores during the COVID school shutdowns.

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Commentary: Fathers Are Essential to Educating Children

In recent years, America has seen parents fighting back against the indoctrination of their children in public schools. School board members have been ousted from their positions, and bills combating the influence of political ideology in classrooms have been signed into law. Teachers’ unions longstanding monopolization of education policy looks like it could finally be coming to an end. With the midterms approaching, the parental-choice movement has reason to feel encouraged.

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Commentary: Tennessee School Boards and Unions Go Up Against Hillsdale-Affiliated Charter Schools

Hillsdale College's Monticello replica at the Blake Center donated by Prestley Blake in Somers, CT in on September 23, 2020.

Three Tennessee school boards denied the application of the American Classical Academy, a K-12 charter school system affiliated with Hillsdale College that provides students with a classic liberal arts education. The American Classical Academy alleges that these decisions are politically motivated and based on its ties to Hillsdale, which is Christian and conservative, as well as comments made by Hillsdale’s president, Larry Arnn.

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Catholic School Enrollment Surges After Government School COVID Lockdowns

Enrollment in Catholic schools in the United States has risen for the first time in two decades after teachers’ unions worked with the Biden administration to keep government schools locked down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The enrollment rise since last year by 3.8 percent, or 62,000 students, in Catholic elementary and secondary schools, is also the largest surge recorded in at least 50 years by the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA), the Associated Press reported in February.

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Billboards Advertise Choice as Teacher Strike Keeps Columbus Kids Out of School

As a teacher strike keeps Columbus students out of the classroom in the first week of the school year, advocates for Christian education are advertising private school choice on five billboards around the city. 

The signs read, “COLUMBUS CITY SCHOOLS LOCKS KIDS OUT… AGAIN,” referencing long periods during which schools were closed in response to COVID-19. The ads, placed by the Columbus-based Center for Christian Virtue (CCV), let passers by know that various Ohio school-choice programs are available to families, particularly low-income ones. CCV is encouraging interested parents to visit BackpackBill.com/Columbus to learn about these opportunities. 

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Commentary: Enormous Amounts of Money Flow into the Bottomless Education Pit

Spurred by COVID panic, schools have been the recipient of ungodly sums of money. And it’s not as if the beast was starving before. To put things into perspective, the United States spends about $800 billion on national defense, more than China, Russia, India, the UK, France, Saudi Arabia, Germany, and Japan combined, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. America now spends even more on K-12 education, with an outlay of about $900 billion dollars a year, which includes an additional $122 billion from the COVID-related American Rescue Plan. 

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Commentary: Teachers’ Unions Politicized U.S. Schools, Not Parents

When voters were asked by Pew Research, prior to the 2020 election, what issues were most important to them, education wasn’t even among the top dozen.

But things have changed dramatically since then. Outlets ranging from The Washington Post, to ABC News, have identified education as a potentially significant factor in the 2022 midterms. Additionally, after education emerged as a defining issue in Virginia’s gubernatorial election last year — ranking as a top two or three issue — school choice became a litmus test issue for Republicans.

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Teachers’ Union Boss Randi Weingarten Says Conservatives Are Working to ‘Undermine’ Teachers

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten said Wednesday at a union conference that conservatives are “working consistently” to undermine teachers.

“Conservatives are working consistently to undermine educators in this country,” Weingarten said at the New York State United Teachers conference this week. “They’re in the same race as we are between fear and hope, aspiration and despair, democracy and autocracy. And they’re doing this because our members worked so hard during COVID.”

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School Choice Gaining Favor over Teachers’ Unions and Socialist Bureaucrats

“School choice is good for everybody but unions, socialist bureaucrats and the tired education establishment,” libertarian John Stossel wrote Wednesday at the New York Post.

The author and journalist observed the “silver lining” of the COVID pandemic is that parents discovered alternatives to public schools and, as the statistics are telling us, they continue to act on that discovery by removing their children from them – in droves.

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Commentary: Four Years after Landmark Janus Decision, Connecticut Teachers’ Unions Membership Dropping

Mark Janus

While the media breathlessly covered the final two weeks of this year’s term at the U.S. Supreme Court, an important anniversary quietly came and went — the fourth year of freedom from forced union participation by public-sector employees.

On June 27, 2018, the justices banned mandatory union membership, dues and fees for government employees, overturning more than 40 years of court precedent that required government employee union participation as a condition of employment.

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National Education Association President: ‘Radicalized Supreme Court Issuing Decisions That Do Not Reflect Views or Values of America’

The president of the nation’s largest teachers’ union told union delegates at the start of the Representative Assembly (RA) Sunday that 2016 was the year of a “fateful election,” one that made clear the U.S. Supreme Court would become “radicalized.”

In her keynote address Sunday in Chicago, National Education Association (NEA) President Becky Pringle targeted former President Donald Trump for his choices in appointing Supreme Court justices.

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Teachers’ Unions Condemn Supreme Court Decision Upholding Religious Freedom and School Choice

National and state teachers’ unions condemned the Supreme Court’s decision Tuesday that held a Maine tuition assistance program that bars families from using the taxpayer funds for religious schools is in violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.

Union officials denounced the ruling as one that “attacks public schools,” “erodes democracy,” “harms students,” and undermines “the separation of church and state.”

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School Choice Research Director Corey DeAngelis: One-Size-Fits-All System ‘Not Going to Work’ for Diverse Population with Differing Child-Rearing Goals

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, guest host Gulbransen welcomed Corey DeAngelis National Director of Research at School Choice to the newsmaker line to discuss the divide between parents and how they want to educate their children.

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Hosts Leahy and Gulbransen Interpret Bloomberg’s Warning to Teachers’ Unions and Whether the Democrats Will Continue as a Major Party

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed official guest host Aaron Gulbransen in-studio to discuss Michael Bloomberg’s recent comments regarding teachers’ unions and whether or not the Democrat Party will remain intact.

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Commentary: States Can Make the Difference on an Unjust Teacher Pay Gap

The seemingly-omnipresent call to raise teacher pay is sounding even louder this year, as rising inflation threatens to render moot any raises made in previous years. Yet even before that became apparent, state pay raises for teachers were heading toward a crescendo. There were numerous historic raises in March 2022 alone: Mississippi’s Gov. Tate Reeves signed a pay bump of roughly 10 percent, New Mexico’s Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a base salary increase average of 20 percent, and Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis announced $800 million in additional funds to raise teachers’ starting salaries. In April 2022, Alabama’s Gov. Kay Ivey approved raises that range from 4 to 21 percent depending on teachers’ experience levels.

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Surge in Homeschooling Families Continues after Schools Reopen

The number of families homeschooling in the United States has remained significantly above pre-pandemic levels even though government schools have reopened.

The number of homeschooling students increased by 63% during the 2020-2021 school year in 18 states that shared data, AP reported. That percentage then dropped by only 17% in the next academic year.

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Commentary: Teachers Unions’ Other Foes Are Liberal Parents

Khulia Pringle would seem an unlikely critic of the local Minneapolis Federation of Teachers. The St. Paul native embarked on a teaching career in the hope of improving a school system that she saw as failing her daughter. By the time she finished her training in 2014, she had grown so disillusioned with the public school system that she took a job with an education reform group, helping to recruit and place hundreds of tutors in schools across the state.

While she shares the union’s emphasis on pushing for higher pay and smaller classrooms, the self-described liberal education activist says the federation’s three-week strike last month provided final confirmation of her worst fear: The union and public education system place a higher priority on serving their own needs than they do on serving students and parents, 60% of whom are minorities.

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Connecticut Teachers’ Union Backs Down After Educator Exercises Right to Cut Off Dues Payments

empty hallway

A teacher in the Plainville Community School District in Connecticut successfully exercised her First Amendment right to stop financial support for the activities of the Connecticut Education Association (CEA).

Christina Corvello invoked her rights under the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME to end payment of dues to CEA despite union officials’ efforts to restrict her right to an “escape period,” i.e., a limited number of days several months in the future.

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Republican Report: CDC Official Confirms Teachers’ Unions Given ‘Unprecedented’ Status on Whether to Reopen Schools While Parents Not Consulted

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) said Wednesday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) used “political science” and not “medical science” to collaborate with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to create guidance on the issue of reopening the nation’s government schools.

Appearing as a guest on Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle, Scalise referred to a report released by Republicans on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis that revealed a CDC official’s testimony confirming the nation’s top health agency coordinated with teachers’ unions at an “unprecedented” level to craft school reopening guidance, despite the CDC’s earlier claims that their coordination with the unions was routine.

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GOP Report: Teachers Unions Got ‘Unprecedented Access’ After Donating Tens of Millions to Democrats

A newly released report from Republican lawmakers on the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis alleges that teachers unions had “unprecedented access” in determining school COVID-19 guidelines after giving millions of dollars to Democratic candidates in 2020.

The report confirmed what The Center Square reported last year, including that teachers unions such as the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) gave tens of millions of dollars to Democrats before heavily influencing school re-opening guidance.

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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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J.C. Bowman Explains the Difference Between Professional Educators and Teachers’ Unions

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed CEO and Executive Director of Professional Educators J.C. Bowman in studio to contrast his organization with teachers’ unions’.

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Corey DeAngelis: More School Choice Creates Greater Incentive for Teachers’ Unions to Push Student-Focused Policies

Corey DeAngelis of the American Federation for Children

In an interview with The Star News Network, nationally known school choice advocate Corey DeAngelis said teachers’ unions would be incentivized to push for more student-focused policies in public schools if school funding followed the child and more states adopted school choice programs.

DeAngelis, the national director of research at the American Federation for Children, is also an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, and a senior fellow at the Reason Foundation.

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Documentary Exposes Critical Race Theory and ‘Corrupting Influence of Teachers’ Unions’ on Education of American Children

Young girl in pink long sleeve writing

A new documentary exposes Critical Race Theory (CRT) as the “hidden agenda in America’s schools,” as it also emphasizes the “corrupting influence of teachers’ unions” and urges a return to the true education of American children.

Fathom Events, the film’s distributor, notes on its website Whose Children Are They? seeks to “pull back the curtain about what is truly happening in our public schools today.”

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All-Star Panelist Roger Simon: ‘The Fact That the ACLU Is on a Fishing Expedition Against Hillsdale College Is a Sign of the Decline of the ACLU’

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Roger Simon in studio to weigh in on ACLU open records request and the abomination of education.

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Crom’s Crommentary: The Spontaneous Left-Wing Countermovements and Their Big-Money Funding

Close up of 100 and 50 US Dollar bills on black background

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio for another edition of Crom’s Crommentary.

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Teachers Unions ‘Hold the Education of Kids Hostage,’ Worker Rights Group Says

A worker rights group is calling out two powerful teachers unions, claiming that they “hold the education of kids hostage” in a press release.

Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTWLDF), told the Daily Caller News Foundation that teachers unions like the National Education Association (NEA) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) are taking advantage of a labor law provision passed in the 1930s for the private sector.

“In several states across the country, union officials, specifically teachers’ union officials, have been granted a really unique privilege called exclusive monopoly bargaining,” Mix said, adding that former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt opposed granting such privileges to public-sector unions while in office.

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State Representative Bruce Griffey: ‘I Will Consider’ Introducing a Bill That Tells the Federal Government the State of Tennessee Will Refuse Their K-12 Public Education Money

Wednesday moring on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed State Represenative Bruce Griffey in studio host Leahy welcomed State Representative Bruce Griffey in studio to answer tough questions on federal funding for K12 public education in Tennessee.

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Ohio School Employee Appeals Ruling that Forces Union Representation

A northeast Ohio high school guidance counselor who wanted to choose her own attorney in a dispute with her school system has appealed a lower court ruling she had to accept union representation.

Barbara Kolkowski, a counselor in the Ashtabula Area City School District, filed the original complaint a year ago in Ashtabula County Court of Common Pleas to stop the Ashtabula Area Teachers Association from requiring her to accept its representation.

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Nonprofit Blasts Philadelphia, Pennsylvania School District for Efforts on Gender and Neglect of Academics

As the School District of Philadelphia labors to make its digital student-information system accord with expanding progressive concepts of gender, a right-leaning nonprofit is urging officials to refocus on academics.

In 2016, the district adopted a policy allowing students to pursue their “gender identity” and therein defined the term as “a person’s deeply held sense or psychological knowledge of their own gender, regardless of the sex they were assigned at birth.” The new rule allows students of one biological sex identifying as another to access restrooms, locker rooms, gym classes and athletic programs consistent with the former rather than the latter. In 2020, several school employees reportedly asked Sarah Galbally, the district’s lobbyist, to push for recognizing a broader variety of gender identities in the student tracking system, something that couldn’t be done without tweaking state-education policy.

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Arizona Gov. Ducey and Gubernatorial Candidate Kari Lake Differ on Putting Cameras in Classrooms

Leading Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake voiced support for putting cameras in schools in order to allow parents to monitor what educators are teaching their children, and Gov. Doug Ducey responded by criticizing the idea. 

Ducey said during a press conference that it could lead to “predators” monitoring children, the Arizona Capitol Times reported. “We’ve got young kids in these classrooms,” he said. “We want to protect them from predators, of course.” 

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Commentary: Union-Mandated School Shutdowns Are Having Major Consequences

Recently, a report compiled by Mike Antonucci for the Defense of Freedom Institute confirmed that the teachers unions had a heavy-handed role in the COVID-related shutdowns that consumed much of the country starting in March 2020. And the “never let a good crisis go to waste” unions were in prime form in the process. The California Teachers Association, for example, issued a “bargaining advisory” in May of 2020, in which it states, “When exercising a ‘get for the give’ approach to bargaining concessions, locals should consider strengthening or implementing consultation procedures language in the CBA (collective bargaining agreement).” The union added, “Now is the time to secure (contract) language improvements that we have wanted for some time.”

While the California Teachers Association was busy instructing its local teachers unions how to milk the shutdown, Antonucci notes that it was successful on a statewide basis by “winning a ban on teacher layoffs, a substantial reduction in required instructional minutes, and the elimination of public accountability data collections for 2020, including those for academics, absenteeism, graduation and suspension rates, and college readiness.”

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Democrats Boast That Their Donors’ Most Common Profession Is Teacher

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) tweeted that the most common DNC donor-reported occupation in 2021 is teacher.

The tweet sparked widespread mockery online, with commentators pointing out that teachers’ widespread alignment with Democrats is a root cause of conservatives’ distrust in public education.

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Commentary: I’m Leaving My California Teachers’ Union

I have been a middle school special education teacher for 18 years. Every day I spend in the classroom is a joy – the work is hard, but so rewarding – and with almost two decades of experience, I know how my students learn best.

Imagine my surprise when the California Teachers Association – which spends zero days per year with students – tries to tell teachers how to run their classrooms.

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Critical Race Theory Debate Heating Up in Ohio General Assembly

Ohio State House

School districts, teachers unions, student groups and parents lined up at the Ohio House to testify against two bills that would stop schools from teaching what sponsors called “divisive concepts” in the classroom.

The House State and Local Government Committee heard more than three hours of testimony Wednesday during the third hearing for both House Bill 322 and House Bill 327. Each prohibits teaching concepts that are part of the nationwide critical race theory movement critics say purports the U.S. is a fundamentally racist country.

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Dr. Matthew Spalding of Hillsdale College Talks 1776 Commission Curriculum and New Resources for K12 Parents

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Executive Director Dr. Matthew Spalding of Hillsdale College’s 1776 Curriculum to the newsmakers line to talk about Hillsdale’s new online resource for K12 students, teachers, and parents.

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Report: Teachers Unions Bullied the White House, CDC into Changing School Masking Guidelines

The National Education Association (NEA) teachers union threatened to publicly criticize President Joe Biden’s administration if it did not implement stricter mask guidance, according to internal emails obtained by watchdog group Americans for Public Trust and provided to Fox News.

Following a statement published by the NEA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) specified that regardless of vaccination status, masks should be worn by everyone in schools, Fox News reported. The NEA originally sent a drafted statement to White House officials criticizing the CDC’s guidance, but ended up publishing a statement with a milder tone, according to the emails.

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Center for Union Facts Launches Campaign to Call Out Teachers Unions for ‘Anti-Student Agenda’ in New Video, Website

The Center for Union Facts on Tuesday launched a new campaign to question the actions of teachers’ unions, specifically during the coronavirus pandemic.

The organization highlights how many of the large teacher unions fought to keep schools closed and remain in an online learning environment, a move that seemingly hurt students’ learning.

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Crom Carmichael Calls for Toxic School Boards and Teachers Unions to Be Removed and Replaced

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, guest host Ben Cunningham welcomed all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss morally corrupt school boards and teachers’ unions.

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Metro Nashville Public School Board Member Fran Bush Talks Lack of Common Sense as Mandates Trump Learning Loss Recovery

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed MNPS District Six school board member Fran Bush in studio who expressed the priority of getting kids back on academic track instead of focusing on mask mandates.

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Commentary: Unions Enforce Masks for the Public But Don’t Require Member Vaccinations

Flight attendants’ and teachers’ unions whose members are on the front lines of disputed Covid safety protocols are ardent enforcers of mask mandates for the public but do not require their members to get vaccinated. Such inoculation is widely acknowledged as the most effective step in stopping the spread of the new Delta variant, while masking is viewed as of secondary importance, and many are highly skeptical of its effectiveness and critical of its inconvenience.

As the Association of Flight Attendants continues to urge federal authorities to allow flight attendants to police passengers for masking – a policy that has led to fisticuffs on some flights – the union has struck an agreement with at least one airline, United, to allow unvaccinated members to fly. American Airlines and Southwest Air say they also do not require their flight attendants or other employees to vaccinate. Flight attendants for both airlines are unionized.

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Michigan Reading Scholarship Advocates Lament ‘Anti-Voucher’ Rhetoric Used Against Vetoed Program

When Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) line-item vetoed a $155 million program for K-5 reading scholarships in the $17 billion school budget she signed earlier this month, teachers’ unions and other school choice opponents likened the scholarships to vouchers. 

Many proponents of the scholarship expenditure are responding that while they would welcome broader choice-oriented education reform, a plain reading of the program does not jibe with unions’ and school administrators stated concerns about impact on public education.

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Wall Street Expert Liz Peek Outlines the Consequences of Raise Increases and Democrat Power Grabs at the Expense of the American Taxpayer

Conservative news analyst Liz Peek

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Wall Street expert and Fox Business contributor Liz Peek to the newsmakers line to discuss the consequences of reckless budget spending, raise increases, and inflation.

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CDC Sued by Watchdog Group for Withholding Communications Records with Teachers’ Unions

CDC Headquarters

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was sued by a watchdog group after the agency failed to hand over requested documentation of communication between the government agency and the leaders of various teachers’ unions, Fox News reports.

The suit was filed by Americans for Public Trust (APT), a nonprofit based in Washington D.C. The group alleges that the documents they previously requested via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) could prove that there was “undue political influence” expressed over the CDC by teachers’ unions, which ultimately dictated the CDC’s lockdown recommendations.

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Karol Markowicz on the Politicization of Teacher’s Unions, Public Versus Charter Performance, and Parental Involvement Against CRT

Karol Marowicz

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz to the newsmakers line to discuss teacher union power over public school education and how parents are fighting back.

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Metro Council Member-at-Large Steve Glover Weighs in on Mayor Cooper’s State of Metro Address

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Metro Council Member-at-Large Steve Glover to the newsmakers line who outlined the inequities promoted in Mayor Cooper’s State of the Metro address Thursday morning.

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Teachers Unions’ Donations to Democrats Increased Amid Pandemic, School Closures

The largest U.S. teachers unions increased contributions to mainly Democratic politicians in 2020 amid a heated national debate over when to reopen schools during the pandemic.

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) political action committee (PAC) donated $1.6 million to candidates while the National Education Association’s (NEA) PAC contributed $371,000 to candidates, according to Federal Election Commission data analyzed by Roll Call. The contributions represented a 3,456% increase for the AFT and a 38% increase for the NEA compared to the organizations’ 2019 donations given over the same period.

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