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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
August 21, 2015
 
It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible. Of all the dispositions and habits that lead to political prosperity, our religion and morality are the indispensable supporters. Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that our national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
George Washington
 
New Poll Shows School Choice Widely Supported
A new poll recently released by the Friedman Foundation for Education Choice reveals the majority of Americans support offering school choice options for parents. The 2015 School in America Survey found that more than 60% specifically support education savings accounts (ESA’s), with a strong majority believing such a program should be universal. A relatively new idea, ESA’s allow parents to use educational funds for a myriad of options connected to educating their children, and the programs are structured so that the money flows to schools from the parents not the government. This method has been found to be constitutionally sound and a good way to protect autonomy and mission of private schools from government entanglements. Currently, Arizona and Florida have implemented ESA programs, and the Nevada legislature this week approved start-up funding for an ESA program. The poll also found that the majority of Americans believe the best way to increase accountability for under-performing public schools is to implement choice options such as converting public schools to charter schools or using a tax credit or voucher program. Additionally, the survey showed that people are twice as likely to support, rather than oppose, a voucher program and a tax credit program, and a majority of Americans would like to send their children to a private or charter school. The top two reasons cited for supporting vouchers were “access to better schools having better academics” and “more freedom and flexibility for parents.” The survey also included questions on the Common Core and found that 24% strongly oppose the standards compared to only 19% who strongly support them. Interestingly, one in six people believe that education is the number one issue in America.
 
Don’t Miss the AACS National Legislative Conference
The AACS will be hosting the annual AACS National Legislative Conference September 14–16, 2015, giving pastors, administrators, teachers, and students from AACS ministries the opportunity to gain information about the issues facing Christian education, to meet with their Senators and/or Representatives, and to be encouraged in their service for the Lord. Taking place in Washington, D.C., the conference will include a Congressional briefing designed for AACS members, a briefing hosted by the Heritage Foundation on educational and religious freedom, a Stories in Stones tour of the Jefferson Memorial led by Tim Schmig, and the annual legislative banquet featuring Senator James Lankford as the keynote speaker. The theme for this year’s conference is “Let Us Be Strong” based on 2 Samuel 10:12 which states, “Let us be strong for our people and…for God. And may the Lord do what is good in His sight.” Click here to register.
 

Alumni News 

YLTC Student Named Millennial Director for Major Campaign
An alumnus of the AACS Youth Legislative Training Conference (YLTC), Elliott Kelley, has recently been
appointed as the Millennial State Director to the South Carolina grassroots team for the Ted Cruz campaign. A main goal of the YLTC is to encourage young people to recognize the difference that Christian young people can make in society and the political process. Elliott attended the YLTC in the summer of 2014 and is currently studying business administration at Bob Jones University. In addition to his studies and campaign work, he also holds leadership positions with the South Carolina Student Legislature and the Pickens County Republican Party, and he was a delegate to the South Carolina GOP convention. Of his time at the YTLC, Elliott stated, “My time at YLTC was very insightful. I saw firsthand the great need for grassroots campaigning. Many of the speakers emphasized the role of Millennials in politics. They spoke specifically of Millennials working with technology to affect campaigns and highlight policies. For me, this showed the need to make a relationship with individuals. Speaking to and hearing from speakers at YLTC made the need for my generation to be involved in politics real to me. I only hope to be able to make policy issues real to those I meet.” Senator Cruz remarked, “Elliott’s energy, campaign experience and leadership will be a valuable asset to the campaign as we engage students and young professionals in the process.”
Note: AACS does not endorse candidates or political parties.

Pro Life

Videos Bringing Scrutiny to Planned Parenthood
This past Wednesday, a 7th
video exposing more of the atrocities committed by Planned Parenthood was released by the Center for Medical Progress, drawing nationwide attention once again to the abortion business. This most recent video comes on the heels of the announcement that StemExpress is officially cutting ties with Planned Parenthood. StemExpress is a biotech firm that worked with Planned Parenthood by purchasing aborted babies and their body parts and selling them to research facilities for medical experiments. Their decision came after the House Energy and Commerce Committee asked StemExpress to explain their relationship with the abortion institution and after a California judge indicated it was unlikely the Center for Medical Progress could legally be stopped from releasing more videos. In response to the information revealed in the videos, government officials in Louisiana, New Hampshire, Alabama, Arkansas, and Utah have moved to defund Planned Parenthood, and twelve states have launched investigations into the practices of Planned Parenthood clinics. The White House has warned states that by defunding Planned Parenthood they may actually be violating federal law by limiting the number of providers for Medicaid beneficiaries. However, statistics show that there are actually 13,540 health care clinics nationwide that provide needed health care services for women compared to 665 Planned Parenthood clinics, invalidating the claim that the Planned Parenthood abortion business is necessary for women’s health.


 

In Case You Missed It:


Weekly Market Update provided by Jeff Beach of the AACS Investment Team at Merrill Lynch
 
Register Now for AACS National Legislative Conference September 14-16, 2015
 
Nationwide Protest Against Planned Parenthood Scheduled for Saturday, August 22, 2015
 
Video: AACS Youth Legislative Training Conference 2015
 
RNC Endorses Religious Liberty Legislation
American Association of Christian Schools
Jamison Coppola: Legislative Director
Maureen Van Den Berg: Policy Analyst

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