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Newswire – September 24, 2019

TODAY IS NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION DAY. Hundreds of thousands of brave men and women have died to preserve this - perhaps the most basic of American rights. Don’t let their sacrifices be in vain.  If you don’t register you can’t vote. And if you don’t vote, don’t you dare complain about anything the election winners do.


RUM, ROMANISM AND REBELLION. You’ve no doubt heard it but do you know who said it first? James G. Blaine, the author of the now famous 19th century Blaine Amendments to state constitutions which were designed to suppress Catholic influences on America, which had the effect of banning any laws which could enable parents to use their tax dollars to send their kids to religiously affiliated education programs or schools. Blaine thought drinkers and immigrant Catholics - apparently one and the same - were a scourge on the nation.  So he pushed his amendment in the Congress, and failing there, went to the states with his scare tactics and won - 37 times!

Siding with Blaine, the bigotted Republican politician, is the teachers unions, who will go up against parents and rank and file citizens when the U.S. Supreme Court hears “Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue.”  CER has filed an Amicus brief arguing that a favorable ruling would be one of the most significant wins for education and parental rights in recent history. To help you get to know Mr. Blaine a little better, you might want to review last week's Newswire with one of the many illustrations of the xenophobe whose laws dictate the scope of our education system in this country.  

The Blaine Amendment:  [There shall be no] “direct or indirect appropriation or payment” of public monies “for any sectarian purpose” or to aid any institution “controlled in whole or in part by any church, sect, or denomination.”


SAME CHURCH, DIFFERENT PEW.  Students in New York are among those in 37 states that are denied access to better schools just because those schools are run by religious institutions. NY Catholic schools scores rose yet again, even as enrollments decreased, owing to parental inability to pay. Yet taxpayers keep funding traditional public schools in which fewer than half of all students can master basic reading and math!  But we’d rather honor a bigot whose big idea framed public education’s evolution, than allow kids to go to successful schools. As the kids would say, that’s real smart!

PRESIDENT deBLASIO? Phew, no. The New York Mayor – and self avowed “hater” of school choice and innovation – said last week that “it’s clearly not my time.” Perhaps now he can focus his attention on the scandalous situation we reported last week of  the Success Academy of Queens - with a waiting list of students – being denied access to vacant public school buildings with room for up to 725 kids.  Don’t forget that Success Academy parents, staff and students are holding a rally at Roy Wilkins Park in St. Albans, Queens, on Sept. 26.  Help them out if you can. For more information call the Academy at  347-602-4335.

TONIGHT IN DC. Washington D.C.’s charter schools consistently deliver education results far surpassing those of other public schools.  Yet some mis-informed and union-led parents are working with some in DC government to punish them.  Speak out at tonight’s forum and learn about the local jihad on education opportunity.

TEACHERS AS ENTREPRENEURS.  The path to solving the teacher shortage has never been more clear, says CER’s Jeanne Allen in The 74.  The article’s headline sums up the common sense solution, recommending making teachers “Entrepreneurs, with autonomy, authority and  salary to match.”

CENSORSHIP IN MILWAUKEE.  Milwaukee, which can rightly be called the birthplace of the modern school choice movement, is full of great charter schools, like the Howard Fuller Collegiate Academy to name just one.  But readers of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel would never know it. The papers’ education columnist purposely omitted test scores for those schools from an article about the scores from other public schools.  The story is a familiar one – charter students outperform other public schools students (depending on the measure in 29 out of 30 or 24 out of 30 categories) while costing substantially less money - $8,400  per pupil vs. $13,300 per other public school pupils. Shame on the Journal for a blatant act of censorship. 


As always, please drop us a line, with any input and suggestions.  

Founded in 1993, the Center for Education Reform aims to expand educational opportunities that lead to improved economic outcomes for all Americans — particularly our youth — ensuring that conditions are ripe for innovation, freedom and flexibility throughout U.S. education.