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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 5, 2016
 
“I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.”
Booker T. Washington

 
Over 16,700 Events Celebrated National School Choice Week
Last week, over 16,700 events were held across the country to highlight the benefits of school choice for America’s children during 
National School Choice Week (NSCW). Showing a growing support for school choice, NCSW has grown from just 150 events in 2011 to 16,140 this year. While parents, students, and private and home school groups organized events across the country, political leaders supporting choice also took the opportunity to promote the cause. Thirty-three governors and over 240 mayors and county leaders recognized NCSW through official proclamations. The U.S. Senate unanimously approved a resolution, sponsored by Sen. Tim Scott (SC) declaring the week National School Choice Week. In a press release, Sen. Scott stated, “As we mark National School Choice Week, we recommit ourselves to the belief that every child in America, regardless of where they live or their family’s social economic status, deserves access to a quality education. Today, for many, the school in their neighborhood is wonderful, but sadly in our county there are too many children who do not have the same chance to attend a wonderful school. I believe school choice, the ability for parents to make the best educational choice for their child, is critically important to providing that opportunity for children.” The Friedman Foundation released the ABC’s of school choice, an annual report published for the last 12 years which details the choice programs state by state. This year, they added a special online component which includes a searchable database. A poll released by the American Federation for Children (a Democratic polling company) found that 70% of Americans support school choice, a number that is on the rise. Specifically, 65% support opportunity scholarships, 65% also support education savings accounts, and 75% support public charter schools. Interestingly, the poll found that 65% of Democrats support school choice, up from 60% last year.

Pro Life 

U.S. House Falls Short in Pro-life Vote to Override President’s Veto
This week, the House of Representatives held a vote to override the President’s veto of H.R. 3762, the Restoring American’s Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act. However, the bill failed to receive the two-thirds vote necessary to override the veto. The bill would have eliminated the mandate which requires companies with over 50 employees to provide health insurance and all individuals to purchase it, along with other key portions of the health care act. It also would have eliminated taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood. In a recent
op-ed, Senators Ben Sasse (NE) and James Lankford (OK) noted the progress that had been made to get such a bill to the President’s desk and what this could mean should a pro-life President be in the White House: “This winter, we were successful in passing a bill to defund Planned Parenthood and put the issue on President Obama’s desk; we did this through a process known as budget reconciliation, which is one of the handful of bills that can move through the Senate with only a simple majority of 51 votes. We grieve that the president chose to veto this legislation and protect the abortion lobby, at the expense of millions of vulnerable unborn children. Despite these losses, we demonstrated that, with an authentically pro-life president in the White House, this Senate could remove federal funding from Planned Parenthood or any other organization that profits off of the death of unborn children.”





 

Common Core

Undercover Videos Reveal Bias and Cronyism Surrounding Common Core Textbooks
Project Veritas, an organization started by James O’Keefe, has released a new set of
undercover videos exposing the crony capitalism and liberal-leftist bias behind the publication of textbooks to align with the Common Core Standards. The videos record publishing executives explaining that because only the three biggest publishers have the resources to create new textbooks that are in keeping with the Common Core, the new standards have created a huge new market for their products. In the opening video, Dianne Barrow, a former employee of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is recorded, saying, “You don’t think the educational publishing companies are in it for education do you? No, they’re in it for the money.” The most recent video brings to light the disturbing fact that the Common Core publishers lean towards a progressive, liberal bias. During the interview with O’Keefe, Kim Koerber, a former Pearson executive, claims that “the dead white guys did not create this country,” and later states, “I don’t think personal handguns need to be on anyone except the government, the police. Texas is just unbelievably awful. I did a presentation for AP US History and they wanted founders in it. They want to teach the Constitution. They want to talk about those dead white guys.” Both the Pearson and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt companies have released statements saying that the remarks made by Barrow and Koerber do not reflect the view of the companies nor their employees. However, O’Keefe, insists that his videos show that “corporate cronyism and underhanded political deals have contributed to Common Core’s massive disruption and the unraveling of America’s educational fabric.”





 

In Case You Missed It:


Weekly Market Update provided by Jeff Beach of the AACS Investment Team at Merrill Lynch
 
5 Cases to Watch at the Supreme Court in 2016
 
School Choice Programs Across the Country
 
What a Gay Man's Court Victory Over a Catholic School Means




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

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