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Vol. 18, No. 1

ALL EYES ON THE SUPREME COURT. Next Monday, January 11, 2016, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association et al. case, which will give teachers the right to decide for themselves whether they want to belong and financially support a union.

WHY I’M FIGHTING MY TEACHERS UNION. Mr. Elrich, a math teacher in the Sanger Unified School District in California, writes in the Wall Street Journal that 82% of the public agrees that “no American should be required to join any private organization, like a labor union, against his will. “That’s all we’re asking,” he says regarding the Friedrichs case.

TEACHER FREEDOM. Research, data, and personal anecdotes on teacher freedom show teachers are interested in initiatives that advance their careers and explore innovative pay raises.

A TEACHER’S LEGACY. A fitting first public event by Acting Ed Sec John King was his visit today to a school recently re-named in honor of an amazing teacher and school leader. JoAnn “Jody” Leleck helped transform her Title 1 school into a place that not only attracted national attention because of its achievement and turnaround, but also had a lasting effect on the students and community at large. Those who knew her before she lost her battle to cancer know she put kids and education first before any consideration for adults.

OPPORTUNITY LEGACY. The fight for opportunity for those most disenfranchised from society lives on, thanks to the activities of the Jack Kemp Foundation and the Kemp Forum on Expanding Opportunity being held this weekend in South Carolina. A true pioneer of school choice, the Late Jack Kemp, former Congressman, US Housing Secretary, Champion of Civil Rights and Football star was revered by people on both sides of the political aisle for his service and impact on empowering the poor, fighting poverty and reducing injustice in housing, education, and in work. The forum in Columbia on January 9 includes a majority of presidential candidates who will join House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senator Tim Scott and the Morning Joe anchors in discussing how they might address the opportunity gap. “The Kemp Foundation is honored to provide this Forum for candidates to address issues that have too often been relegated to the ‘back of the bus,” said Foundation president Jimmy Kemp.

JOIN US! We’ll be rallying at the Supreme Court steps, 1 First Street NE Washington DC beginning 9:00am Monday Jan. 11 to show support for Rebecca Friedrichs and teachers across the nation who just want the right to choose. RSVP or for more info contact 202-750-0016 or cer@edreform.com.

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NEBRASKA’S TURN. A state that ranks near the bottom on Parent Power has a new statewide effort – Educate Nebraska – to create new opportunities for kids. Get involved here.

MILWAUKEE VOUCHERS PREVAIL. DOJ quits its investigation into the nation’s oldest voucher program. Kevin P. Chavous, executive counsel to the American Federation for Children and CER board member said, “this is another example of the U.S. Department of Justice trying to interfere with the parents’ right to choose the best school for their son or daughter, and similar to the outcome in Louisiana – parental choice prevailed.”