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Week in Review: School Choice Supermajority

September 26, 2020

In this day and age, what issue could possibly unite 72% of Democrats, 73% of independents, and 73% of Republicans? The answer is….school choice.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced students to adjust to new and unexpected educational challenges—and it’s bolstered Americans’ belief that families need more flexibility to give their kids the learning experience they need. Now, a new poll out this week from RealClear Opinion Research and the American Federation for Children (AFC) found that Americans across the political spectrum—clear majorities of Republicans, independents, and Democrats—want to put more control over education in parents’ hands.

Goldwater Institute Director of Education Policy Matt Beienburg writes at In Defense of Liberty that the poll’s findings should be a wake-up call for lawmakers. “Politicians poured $15 billion of extra money into public K-12 schools this year in response to the COVID pandemic. Yet union groups fought tooth and nail to block those funds from helping millions of families directly—families who couldn’t afford to wait for their public schools to reopen and who needed learning options and support for their children immediately,” says Beienburg, who also directs Goldwater’s Van Sittert Center for Constitutional Advocacy. “It’s time for that to change.”

You can read Beienburg’s full post here.

Our Military Families Deserve the Right to Earn a Living, Too

It’s hard enough for any licensed worker to continue in their career when they move to a new state. But the hurdles are especially high for military spouses—and a new federal bill looks to end that.

Last week, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and 22 additional senators introduced the Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act. This legislation—which has garnered bipartisan support would amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) to require states to recognize the out-of-state occupational licenses of military spouses relocating across state lines on military orders. Military families move an average of every two to three years, and with such frequent relocations, military spouses may not have the ability to invest the time they need to obtain a license in their new state and find flexible employers willing to accommodate the moves.

The Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act builds on work done by the Goldwater Institute at the state level to allow for universal recognition of out-of-state licenses. Last year, Arizona became the first state in the country to adopt the Goldwater Institute’s universal licensing law, which allows someone who holds a license in another state for at least a year to practice their profession in Arizona if they move to the Grand Canyon State. Since then, 10 other states have adopted similar measures for either all residents or military families, with many more states to consider this legislation next year. 

Read more about the new bill from Goldwater’s Heather Curry and Jon Riches on In Defense of Liberty.

Separating Fact from Fiction on Arizona’s Prop 208

Supporters of Arizona’s Proposition 208—commonly known as the “Invest in Ed” initiative—say that it will improve K-12 education in the Grand Canyon State. But is that the truth?

This week, the Goldwater Institute dispel the myths surrounding Prop 208, combatting fictions with facts. What Prop 208 will do is raise taxes by nearly $1 billion—putting Arizona in the top 10 highest taxing states—with small business job creators bearing the brunt of that increase. But despite what its backers say, Prop 208 will not necessarily lead to better K-12 testing results, nor will it do anything to address districts’ misspending.

You can read more about the real truth behind Prop 208 here.

UPCOMING EVENT: Slavery and the Constitution

Ratified in 1865, the 13th Amendment put an end to slavery in the United States. But what did the U.S. Constitution have to say about slavery prior to the 13th Amendment? Interpretations vary. While some view the fact that the Constitution did not explicitly mention slavery as proof that the Founders were covertly preserving the practice, others see the Constitution as fundamentally anti-slavery—including Frederick Douglass, who called the Constitution a “glorious liberty document.”

Goldwater’s Timothy Sandefur—the author of the book Frederick Douglass: Self-Made Man—will be taking part in a Heritage Foundation virtual event to discuss these differing interpretations. The event will be held streaming online on Tuesday, September 29, from 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM ET. Click here for more information and to register.

Join Us for Our 2020 Virtual Annual Dinner with Special Guest Dennis Prager

You’re invited to join us for the very first “virtual” Goldwater Institute Annual Dinner, featuring special guests Dennis Prager and U.S. Representative Andy Biggs. This exclusive, invitation-only event will be streamed live online and will feature critical insights from Dennis Prager about America’s future as we sit on the precipice of the 2020 elections.

Click here to get your tickets today!



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