Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
First Things: Catholic schools have kept generations of immigrant children in the bosom of the Church while helping to lift them to economic success. But that legacy is at risk. The children of Hispanic immigrants have drifted away from the Church and fallen behind in economic terms. The fact that Catholic schools have failed to serve them may be to blame.
The Daily Signal: Hundreds of Florida parents are able to celebrate the New Year with access to school choice thanks to a decision last Tuesday to dismiss the union lawsuit against the Sunshine State’s Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts and expansion of the tax credit scholarship program.
National Review: If you want to see an area where free-market ideas have actually made a ton of progress, look at the school-choice movement in America.
Christianity Today: According to their critics, private Christian schools foster an attitude of isolation and withdrawal from society. And according to their boosters, public schools provide a unique and essential preparation for citizenship in a diverse nation. For the past five years, my colleagues and I at Cardus have been studying these claims, and last week, we released a new study that shows just how little data exists to support them.
“Parents should be able to choose what’s best for their own children. New Hampshire’s program allows businesses to help make that a reality for many families. The Supreme Court unanimously rejected an attack on this program.” -Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor
One News Now: “Because of the Supreme Court decision, they’ve tried to kind of work their way around it and attack the voucher program based on state constitutional law, rather than federal constitutional law,” says Jonathan Scruggs of the Alliance Defending Freedom. “But so far they’ve lost, I think on all counts.”
National Catholic Register: Faith-based schools should not be excluded from Colorado’s educational-choice programs, according to a brief filed by ADF attorneys in a case that is due to be heard by the state Supreme Court.
Catholic News Agency: “School districts have a responsibility to provide the best educational choices for parents and their children without discriminating against religious options,” commented Gregory Baylor, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, in an Aug. 5 statement.
ADF to Colo. high court: Children at faith-based schools shouldn’t be excluded from school choice program
Alliance Defending Freedom: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a brief Monday asking the Colorado Supreme Court to uphold an appellate court’s ruling that affirmed Douglas County’s freedom to include private religious schools in its school choice program.
The News Journal: “State education officials will decide whether to approve five new charters, whether to put three already-approved schools under review for financial issues and whether to allow the New Maurice J. Moyer Academy to shrink its enrollment targets.”
Associated Press: “Dozens of advocacy groups from across the country have weighed in as the New Hampshire Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on the constitutionality of a business tax credit program that benefits students at religious schools. . . . Tax credit supporters such as the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and the Alliance Defending Freedom see the ruling as an attack on religious freedom. Associations representing school administrators, teachers and school boards say the law diverts funds from public schools.”
Bedford Patch: “A case that pushes the state’s ‘education tax credit’ program to the brink of constitutional jeopardy will be argued before the New Hampshire Supreme Court on April 16. . . . Hassan, American Federation of Teachers, and NEA-NH submitted amicus briefs aligned with the plaintiffs, while amici curiae for the NEO side of the argument includes Alliance Defending Freedom, Concord Christian Academy, and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.”
Associated Press: “The House voted 73-43 for a bill (HB 7167) that would allow more students to become eligible for the program and eventually would open it up to middle-income families by 2016. An existing law already allows the program to grow from its current cap of nearly $300 million, but it places limits on which families can receive the vouchers.”
David Harsanyi at National Review: “Yes, 14 states spend ‘nearly $1 billion’ of taxpayer tuition money on ‘hundreds of religious schools’ that teach kids the earth is less than 10,000 years old. This would be more troubling if we didn’t spend hundreds of billions every year not teaching millions of kids how to read. Voucher programs offer a wide variety of choices for parents, unlike the failing schools that so many kids are trapped in.”
David Harsanyi at The Federalist: “Broadly speaking, educational choice has gained traction over the past decade, primarily due to the success of charter schools — and though liberal proponents of charters would be unwilling to admit, work under the same basic idea as vouchers. . . . And nothing turns voters against vouchers more than the idea of funding a religious education with public money.”
Associated Press: “The Colorado Supreme Court has agreed to review a Court of Appeals ruling that allowed one of Colorado’s first school voucher programs.”
CBS Miami: “If an expansion of a Florida program that helps low-income children attend private schools, many of them religious, gets a thumbs up, it could mean some restrictions on eligibility could be removed.”
Sasha Volokh at The Volokh Conspiracy: “On February 17, a North Carolina state trial judge, Robert Hobgood, struck down North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarships program (i.e. school vouchers) as violating the North Carolina Constitution.”
Robert Morrison at National Review: “And so the Obama administration still denies refugee status to the Romeike family. In so doing, it places at grave risk the fundamental freedoms of millions of American citizens who homeschool their own children. This Romeike reprieve, answer to prayer that it is, does not constitute a repudiation of the Obama administration’s deeply troubling position.”
John Fund at National Review: “Last week, New York’s ACORN mayor Bill De Blasio announced he is evicting Success Academy, a widely praised charter school from the Harlem public school building it occupies. Two other charter schools will be blocked from opening.”
Associated Press: “A judge on Friday blocked a new law that would have allowed taxpayer money to go for tuition at private or religious schools, days before a lottery to determine its first 2,400 students.”
Reihan Salam at National Review: “The public charter school movement is entering a new phase. To put it bluntly, charter schools are finally becoming genuinely frightening to the powers-that-be in traditional public education, and for good reason.”
News & Record (AP): “Wake County Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood on Monday refused to dismiss a lawsuit over what one side calls school ‘vouchers’ and the other calls ‘opportunity scholarships.’”
National Review: “Both the Magnolia State’s house and senate adopted slightly different versions of the Equal Opportunity for All Students with Special Needs Act, which would create an education savings account (ESA) program similar to Arizona’s. The Friedman Foundation estimates that 11 percent of Mississippi students would be eligible for about $6,100 annually.”
Associated Press: “A Republican resurrected last year’s failed measure seeking to grant tax credits to people who donate to scholarships meant to defray tuition at private or religious schools.”
Howard Fischer at The East Valley Tribune: “A House panel agreed Monday to allow hundreds of thousands of children to attend private and parochial schools at public expense, a vote one legislator said is part of a radical agenda to destroy public schools.”
Daily News-Miner: “Three more Republican senators have signed onto a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow public money to be used for private and religious schools.”
AP: “Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander wants billions in federal education dollars to be made available to low-come families to send their children to a public or private school of their choice.”
Washington Post: “Del. Thomas Rust (R-Fairfax) has proposed a resolution that would direct the commonwealth’s education department to study the religious exemption law and make a recommendation as to whether it should be amended to ensure that all children are getting an adequate education.”
Charisma News: In a joint amicus brief filed Dec. 19, 2013, regarding Romeike v. Holder, Alliance Defending Freedom and the German home-school organization Schuzh pointed out that Germany is violating international human rights standards and asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case because of its bearing on human rights issues around the world. (Read the amicus brief online.)
American Federation for Children: Today the American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, celebrated the continuing momentum of the educational choice movement and noted the growing Congressional support for expanding parental choice following remarks yesterday by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
Inquistr: The Romeike family deportation case is awaiting a hearing in the US Supreme Court. A friend-of-the-court brief was recently filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom group. The organization is a support group for German homeschooling families. Attorneys with the Alliance Defending Freedom office in Vienna, Austria drafted the legal document in support of the Romeike family’s request for a review of the deportation order issued by Eric Holder’s Department of Justice.
Weekly Standard: President Obama’s Department of Justice has admitted it cannot prove that Louisiana school choice is violating desegregation efforts, yet it continues to seek the ability to tell a parent their child cannot escape a failing school because their child is not the “right” race.
Alliance Defending Freedom and a legal support group for German homeschooling families submitted a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday that asks the court to reinstate asylum for a persecuted German family.
NC activist group trying to limit educational choices for low-income families | Alliance Defending Freedom
World Net Daily: A Democratic state senator in Ohio has proposed a law that would require every homeschooling parent to be investigated and approved by social services agencies before they would be allowed to teach their own children. The Home School Legal Defense Association calls the bill sponsored by Sen. Capri Cafaro the “worst-ever homeschool law proposed.”
WUNC Public Radio 91.5: With the support of two advocacy groups, 25 plaintiffs across the state filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging a private school voucher law passed earlier this year. The N.C. Association of Educators and N.C. Justice Center are sponsoring the lawsuit, arguing that the vouchers are a broad assault on the state’s public schools as it funnels taxpayer money to private schools. | N.C. Justice information page and filings: Hart v. State of North Carolina
One News Now: “When are they going to socialize?” the judge reportedly asked. “At which point are these children going to interact with other children, and isn’t that in their best interest?”
News Observer: The state teachers organization and the N.C. Justice Center say they will file a lawsuit Wednesday over what they are calling “unconstitutional school legislation.”
Anthony Esolen at Public Discourse: A young man and woman arrive at the office of the town clerk to procure a marriage license. They’re all smiles, until the secretary hands them a document to sign, wherein they read this remarkable sentence: “The State, conceding to the parents the making of their children’s bodies, asserts its primacy in the making of their minds.”
CARE2.com: Should government be able to fund religion? What really constitutes separation of church and state? These are questions that get asked over and over again, mostly through lawsuits defended by groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans United, Alliance Defending Freedom and the American Center for Law and Justice, who each take up opposite sides of the issue in the courts. Most often these organizations go head to head . . . One school in North Carolina is going even further when it comes to their own discriminatory policies. Myrtle Grove Christian School, a North Carolina private religious school that now accepts school vouchers, is asking students and families to take a pledge stating “they won’t support or participate in ‘homosexual activity.’”
WorldNetDaily: The most recent order from the Supreme Court instructs U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to respond to a petition by the Home School Legal Defense Association for the high court to hear arguments in the case of Uwe and Hannelore Romeike and their six children.
Washington Times: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is claiming victory after the Obama administrationJustice Department backed off on its legal push to end the state’s groundbreaking school voucher program, which has allowed thousands of poor children to attend the state’s best schools.
The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, today joined with parents in applauding the decision by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for dropping its bid to block the operation of the Louisiana Scholarship Program. However, the DOJ refused to drop its entire lawsuit against the program and instead shifted its focus on creating new barriers to the program.
Fox News: Scafidi is professor of economics and director of the Economics of Education Policy Center at Georgia College and State University. The study, “More Than Scores: An Analysis of Why and How Parents Choose Private Schools,” was published this month by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.
Christian News Network: The Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is calling for a day of prayer and fasting on behalf of a Christian homeschooling family that is fighting deportation to their homeland of Germany . . . HSLDA has now set Sunday, November 17th as a day of prayer and fasting for the Romeike family, as it anticipates that the Supreme Court will decide whether or not to hear the case on November 26th.
Alliance Defending Freedom, Cornerstone Policy Research, and Liberty Institute have filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the New Hampshire Supreme Court in defense of the state’s tax credit program for businesses that wish to help students attending private schools.
Daily Caller: The judge told the family’s attorneys that the German government would respond with government force and criminal sanctions if the family attempts to leave the country before a December hearing , according to a press release from the U.S.-based Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).
LifeSiteNews: A German judge who ordered the forced removal of the children of a homeschooling family in August has blocked the parents’ request to let the family emigrate to another European country where homeschooling is legal, according to the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).
Charles Glenn at First Things: Religious liberty and educational reform both require the end of the public school monopoly
NCPA Policy Digest: To the contrary, the statewide school voucher program appears to have brought greater integration to Louisiana’s public schools.
AP: A couple who fled Germany in order to home-school their children is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to grant them asylum.
LifeSiteNews: Today the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is filing a petition with the United States Supreme Court to hear Romeike v. Holder, the German homeschooling asylum case.
Wall Street Journal Video: Wonder Land columnist Dan Henninger on the reaction to Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio’s opposition to school choice.
NCPA Policy Digest: Arizona’s education savings accounts are the most innovative way for parents to find a great education for their child. The Arizona Department of Education deposits 90 percent of an eligible child’s funding from the state funding formula into a parent’s private bank account.
Kevin Chavous at Wall Street Journal (access via Google): I’ve experienced firsthand the tensions between paying bills racked up in the past and honoring the obligations we have to young students in the present and future. It is deeply unfair to settle adult disputes over pension obligations and fiscal mismanagement on the backs of school children who weren’t even alive when the problems were created. In D.C., we chose to put our children first. Other cities can do the same. How? By unleashing parental choice in education.
Religion Clause Blog: In Niehaus v. Huppenthal, (AZ App., Oct. 1, 2013), the Arizona Court of Appeals upheld against state constitutional challenge Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Accounts program that provides school vouchers for students with disabilities.
NCPA Policy Digest: Unfortunately, the growing chorus of charter supporters has had little influence to date on the one decision maker who really counts — the mayor. Boston’s public schools are governed by a school committee that is appointed by the mayor, so effectively Mayor Thomas M. Menino has had control over Boston Public Schools for the past 20 years.
Clint Bolick at Wall Street Journal (via Google): School-choice programs have faced no shortage of legal challenges en route to their adoption in 18 states and the District of Columbia. But none of the challenges is so perverse or perplexing as the Justice Department’s motion last month to wield desegregation decrees to halt Louisiana’s voucher program.
AP: On Friday, the U.S. District Court in New Orleans ordered Louisiana to undertake an analysis of the voucher program and provide it to the federal government by Nov. 7.
American Federation for Children: The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, today released the results of a statewide poll showing fierce opposition to the Dept. of Justice’s lawsuit which seeks to block educational options for low-income, minority children in Louisiana.
WorldNetDaily: The Wunderlich situation drew a dozen lawyers from all over Europe to a meeting in Frankfurt to discuss ways to bring attention to the situation, including Roger Kiska, of the Alliance Defending Freedom, which also has been integral in a number of homeschooling cases. “The right of parents to homeschool should be respected and ADF is committed to working along with HSLDA and others to protect this important freedom from being marginalized,” he said. “We have a variety of international tribunals we can look to besides the European Court of Human Rights which has been very antagonistic to homeschoolers and parental rights in general.
Donnelly said that a dozen lawyers from all over Europe gathered in Frankfurt to discuss other means for bringing attention to the problems faced by homeschoolers. Roger Kiska, Alliance Defending Freedom’s senior European counsel was among the attorneys gathered.
HSLDA: “The right of parents to homeschool should be respected and ADF is committed to working along with HSLDA and others to protect this important freedom from being marginalized. We have a variety of international tribunals we can look to besides the European Court of Human Rights which has been very antagonistic to homeschoolers and parental rights in general,” he said. “The act of these local authorities to take the Wunderlich children is unconscionable and those responsible must be held to account.” Donnelly was encouraged by the growing group of supporters for homeschooling freedom in Germany, including attorneys and family advocates from all over Europe, such as Andrea Williams from Christian Concern of the United Kingdom, Viktor Kostov of Bulgaria, and Vasillios Tsirmpas of Greece, both attorneys affiliated with Alliance Defending Freedom.
WorldNetDaily: A rally is being organized to coincide with a court hearing next week for four children who were taken from their parents by a German SWAT-style team armed with a battering ram because they were being homeschooled.
Ed News: A new report from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) shows that parents are looking for alternatives to state-led public education, and are shifting towards more traditional methods to educate their children.
Lindsey Burke at Heritage Foundation: In 2011, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed S.B. 1553, creating the nation’s first education savings accounts (ESAs) for children with special needs.
BBC: The US-founded sect says it believes in spanking children if disobedient. But it said a “small reed-like rod” was used intended only to inflict “pain and not damage” and was not abusive.
Rich Lowry at National Review: The old segregationist Louisiana pol William M. Rainach would be mystified, but impressed. Back in his day, in the 1950s, locking black kids into inferior schools was a simple matter of racial prejudice. He’d surely marvel that six decades later, the nation’s first African-American attorney general had found a way to do it in the name of desegregation.
National Review Online: These many years later, Democrats still are standing in the schoolhouse door to prevent black students from enjoying the educational benefits available to their white peers, this time in Louisiana instead of Alabama. Playing the Wallace role this time is Eric Holder, whose Justice Department is petitioning a U.S. district court to abolish a Louisiana school-choice program that helps students, most of them black, to exit failing government schools.
PennLive.com: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has decided to jump into a dispute where a Snyder County mother was penalized for not ensuring that her twin daughters attended kindergarten.