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The AACS Legislative Office monitors issues that affect the educational freedom and religious liberty of Christian schools.
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The Washington Flyer
February 12, 2016
 
“I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.”
George Washington
 
Administration Presents Proposals for Educating Cradle to Career
This week the Administration released its
budget proposal for 2017. In the area of education, the budget proposals give a good outline of the President’s goal to provide education for every child from cradle to career. The proposal requests $69.4 billion in discretionary funding and $139.7 billion for new mandatory funding of programs to implement the President’s agenda of universal preschool and free college. Specifically, the budget requests $1.30 billion for 2017 and an additional $75 billion over 10 years to implement the President’s universal preschool program, Preschool for All. In addition, $350 million (increased by $100 million from 2016) is included to continue the Preschool Development Grants program, a competition created in 2014 to help states prepare for the Preschool for All program. An increase of $80 million over the 2016 amounts was requested for the IDEA Preschool and IDEA Grants for Infants and Families. The Administration claims support for public school choice by increasing the amount for charter school grants (total of $350 million, up $17 million) and magnet schools (total of $115 million, up $18 million); however, the funding for the highly successful choice program, DC Opportunity Scholarship Program, was cut from $20 million to $3.2 million. Perhaps the largest initiative proposal was the $60.8 billion mandatory funding, over 10 years, of the program America’s College Promise which would provide free tuition for community colleges. The overall budget request is for $4.1 trillion, a record high amount, making Congressional approval unlikely. House Speaker Paul Ryan has called the budget “a progressive manual for growing the federal government at the expense of hardworking Americans.”
 

Pro Life 

New Videos Further Expose Planned Parenthood
After a Texas grand jury indicted David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, the pro-life activists behind the videos exposing Planned Parenthood selling aborted baby body parts, new reports reveal that the jury never even voted on bringing criminal charges against the abortion clinics. Instead of prosecuting the Planned Parenthood clinics for selling the aborted baby body parts, the jury ignored the evidence and charged the pro-life activists for using fake ID’s and buying the body parts in an effort to expose the clinics. However, just days after the surprising indictment by the jury, a pro-life group released new
evidence that confirms the questions raised by the pro-life whistleblowers. The new evidence released reveals a series of invoices showing charges of up to $3,750 for “consent payments” between the University of Texas Medical Branch and Planned Parenthood. According to statements made by Melissa Farrell, Planned Parenthood’s Gulf Coast Director of Research, “consent payments” mean aborted babies’ body parts. The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) also released new footage showing two employees of the National Abortion Federation (NAF) commenting that kickbacks from profits on body part sales “definitely [sound] like something some [of] our members would be really interested in.”






 

Education

South Dakota Takes Steps to Protect Students
The South Dakota state legislature recently
passed a bill by a vote of 58-10 which would stop transgender students from using opposite-sex bathrooms, in an effort to protect students from being forced to share a bathroom or locker room with someone of the opposite gender. Rep. Fred Deutsch, the lead sponsor of the bill, explained, “Federal bureaucrats, without the force of federal law, are threatening to withhold federal funding from schools that do not allow transgender students full, unrestricted access to facilities of the opposite biological sex. I don’t want that to happen in South Dakota. I especially don’t want our children to be required by the federal government to shower, change or use restrooms with other young people of the opposite biological sex.” In 2014, the Department of Education issued new guidance for Title IX, the law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender, which expanded the interpretation of the word sex to include gender identity as well. Since the new guidance, the DOE threatened to withhold funding from an Illinois school until the school allowed a transgender male student full access to the girls’ locker room. The South Dakota senate is expected to vote within the month; leaders on the bill are hoping passage would stop a similar occurrence from happening in their state.






 

In Case You Missed It:


Weekly Market Update provided by Jeff Beach of the AACS Investment Team at Merrill Lynch
 
Faith and the 2016 Campaign
 
Gay Rights Activist: Christians Shouldn't Be Forced to Bake Pro-gay Cakes
 
Court to Weigh Practice of Christian Prayers at Meetings
 
Texas Supreme Court Rules Cheerleaders Can Display Bible Verses on Banners





 
American Association of Christian Schools
Jamison Coppola: Legislative Director
Maureen Van Den Berg: Policy Analyst

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