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Week in Review: Racism in School? Goldwater Helps Find Out

July 10, 2021

Critical Race Theory is increasingly infesting America’s classrooms. Even though many on the Left say CRT isn’t in our children’s classrooms, the National Education Association disagrees—and they’re leading the charge to teach this divisive worldview to our kids. And many parents are worried about what that means for their children’s education.

Rhode Island mom Nicole Solas is one of those parents. But when she’s tried to find out from her school district just what her daughter will be taught in kindergarten, the district has obstructed her at every turn—even threatening to sue her. But now, the Goldwater Institute has stepped in, giving Nicole the legal firepower she needs to fight back and ensure that her daughter gets the academically rigorous education she deserves.

Last week, Nicole and Goldwater Institute Director of National Litigation Jon Riches joined Fox News to talk about their fight—and what’s coming next for Nicole’s story. “The school is engaging in a pattern of obstructionism to prevent me from accessing the information I have a right to know,” Nicole explained. But “this [school] board is not going to keep these parents in the dark, they’re not going to keep Nicole in the dark,” Jon said. “It shouldn’t take a lawyer to find out what our children are learning.”

You can read more about how Nicole and the Goldwater Institute are fighting back here.

A Goldwater Victory for Free Speech!

In several states, lawyers are forced to join a bar association and pay dues to fund speech they disagree with. But two decisions by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit could spell the end of these unconstitutional requirements—with potentially huge consequences for the future of free speech.

As bar associations do in many states, the Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA) uses lawyers’ mandatory dues to engage in advocacy on a wide range of controversial policy issues—and it even used member dues to advocate removing free enterprise education from the state’s high school curriculum. New Orleans lawyer Randy Boudreaux teamed up with the Goldwater Institute to challenge this: The LSBA’s advocacy on political issues has nothing to do with its supposed purpose of regulating the legal profession and improving the quality of legal services. Now, the Fifth Circuit has reversed a lower court’s dismissal of Goldwater’s First Amendment challenge to Louisiana’s requirement that attorneys join the LSBA as a condition of practicing law.

And, in a separate case—and a landmark ruling—the Fifth Circuit held that Texas’s requirement that lawyers join and pay dues to the State Bar of Texas violates attorneys’ First Amendment rights. That ruling marks the first decision from a federal court striking down mandatory bar membership and dues.

It’s clear that the legal fight over mandatory bar associations is not over—and it’s likely that the Supreme Court will have to resolve it. You can read more about the cases from Goldwater Institute Senior Attorney Jacob Huebert at In Defense of Liberty.

Shine a Light on Our Kids’ Curriculum

Should only the financially well-off have the ability to choose what’s best for their child’s education? That’s what one writer at the Arizona Republic is saying.

The paper’s editorial columnist, Elvia Diaz, wrote this week that “Critical Race Theory deserves to be taught in school; it deserves to be vigorously defended,” adding “Once critical race theory is universally taught or permitted, parents’ only option would be to take their kids to private schools with tuition that should come out of their own pockets.” So unless you have the money to pay to escape such an education, you’re stuck in what’s basically a CRT training camp.

But as Goldwater Institute Director of Education Policy Matt Beienburg writes at In Defense of Liberty, there is a better way that would empower all parents to make choices about their kids’ education: our Academic Transparency initiative, which would require public schools to post on their website a simple list of the specific instructional materials being used in the classroom, so that parents could see—before they’re required to enroll their child—what content their child would be exposed to. In a new American Enterprise Institute policy brief out this week, Beienburg explains how academic transparency is a necessary reform to get politics out of the classroom—you can read that full paper here.

Several states “are rolling out academic transparency legislation of their own to thwart this troubling trend in K-12 and restore our schools to a place of academic integrity, rather than political activism,” Beienburg writes. “Such leadership is needed now more than ever.”

Read more from Beienburg at In Defense of Liberty here.



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