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You May Not Have Seen …

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Virginia proves now is America’s school choice moment.

America has reached its school choice moment. The decades-long fight to create and expand school choice programs accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic and finally played out politically as the eyes of the nation watched the gubernatorial race in Virginia on Nov. 2.

The idea that parents are once again allowed to have agency in their child’s education is the centerpiece of the concept of school choice. That idea has come to the forefront of American politics. Strangely, the political left and public education pressure groups are too slow to react; they are likely to face severe political consequences in the foreseeable future. With the 2020 school shutdowns due to the onset of COVID-19, American families were unceremoniously thrust into a precarious situation of economic uncertainty as the sudden facilitators of their children’s education. However, for the first time in a long time, parents suddenly had agency in the public education system. It is not an overstatement to say that homeschooling saved American public education in 2020.

Virginia and North Carolina schools spent most of the 2020-21 school year in online classes after finishing the previous year virtually due to the coronavirus. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) did not announce a school reopening plan until February 5, and Gov. Roy Cooper (D) did not sign The Reopen Our Schools Act of 2021 until March 11. A January 2021 Civitas poll, commissioned by the John Locke Foundation, found that 82 percent of North Carolina voters agree that parents should have the ability to choose where their child attends school. Skepticism of classroom instruction is on the rise; An October Civitas poll found that 75 percent of North Carolina likely voters believe that education in the classroom became more political in the past five years. Parents are having their moment in the politics of education, and history is on the side of school choice.

From Donald Bryson — The John Locke Foundation 

For All You Exercise Lovers, Know Your Top Heartrate

To understand how breathing affects athletic performance, we first need to understand how the body makes energy from air and food. There are two options: with oxygen, a process known as aerobic respiration, and without it, which is called anaerobic respiration. Anaerobic energy is generated only with glucose ( a simple sugar), and it’s quicker and easier for our bodies to access. It’s a kind of backup system and turbo boost when the body doesn’t have enough oxygen. But anaerobic energy is inefficient and can be toxic, creating an excess of lactic acid. When we run our cells aerobically with oxygen, we gain some 16 times more energy over anaerobic. The key for exercise and for the rest of life, is to stay in the energy-efficient, clean burning, oxygen-eating aerobic zone for the vast majority of time during exercise and at all times during rest. During exercise it is important to keep one’s heart rate at the right aerobic/anaerobic threshold for a person’s age. Finding the best heart rate for exercise is easy: simply subtract your age from 180. The result is the maximum your body can withstand and stay in the aerobic state. Long bouts of training can happen below this rate, but not above it, otherwise the body will risk going too deep into the anaerobic zone for too long. Instead of feeling invigorated after a strong workout, the body will feel tired, shaky, and nauseated.

(From Breath, a book by James Nestor)

Parents Erupt at California School Board Meeting Over Alleged ‘Coaching’ of Students Into LGBTQ Club

A mixed crowd of more than 150 people packed a school board meeting in Salinas, Calif., on Dec. 15 as frustrated parents clashed with supporters of two teachers accused of subverting parents and recruiting middle school students into a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club. Jessica Konen, one of approximately 30 people who spoke during an extended public comment period, told the board that school staff indoctrinated her child and usurped her parental authority. Konen blasted the board and accused teachers and staff of coaching her gender dysphoric daughter through the Equality Club, an LGBTQ+ support group now called the You Be You (UBU) Club at Buena Vista Middle School.

“I stand here today in front of all of you because I am outraged. Is this really barely coming to light? Are you guys serious?” she said. “How could you even allow this? How could you even have this meeting to question it? How dare you let these teachers come in and act as if they have done nothing wrong? A mistake? How long of a mistake?” 

Spreckels Union School District (SUSD) has since suspended the teachers with pay pending the outcome of an independent third-party investigation. 

Konen said, “You planted seeds,” she said. “Your job was to educate my child in math, science, English, etc. Do your job and let me do mine!” 

Parents cheered and applauded her speech. Suggesting to a girl that she may be a boy or to a boy he may be a girl is wrong, she said. “That’s just vile nonsense,” Konen said. Vicki Nohrden, a parent and grandparent, blasted the board for preaching about compassion, kindness and respect while disregarding parental rights. 

“Respect is so important,” she said. “What I think is lacking is we are not respecting the parents when parents don’t have a voice and a place of authority in their children’s world, and the school seeks to undermine that authority.”

From The Epoch Times
Supreme Court arguments suggest bright future for parental school choice

School freedom should be for all families regardless of whether they choose a secular or religious school.

Supporters of school freedom can take comfort in the fact that Supreme Court justices are pushing back on state efforts to exclude families who want to send their children to religious schools. School freedom should be for all families regardless of whether they plan to send their children to a secular or religious school. The case currently before the court, Carson v. Makin, pits Maine parents who want to use the state’s voucher program to send their children to religious schools against a 1980 decision by Maine’s attorney general denying families that option. The state’s counsel faced a grilling from the justices.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh said, “I don’t see how you’re suggesting that the subsidy changes the analysis. That’s just discrimination on the basis of religion right there at that neighborhood level.”  

The court’s skepticism continues a pattern of recent decisions where it has blocked states from excluding families who want to use vouchers or other school choice programs to send their children to a religious school. Chief Justice John Roberts aptly summarized the court’s philosophy in his majority opinion for Espinoza v. Montana, 

“A state need not subsidize private education. But once a state decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.” 

That is what Maine is trying to do, and the court must stand firm and rule for school freedom.

From David McIntosh – Fox News — New York legislation provides for indefinite detention of unvaxxed at governor’s whim

On January 5, 2022, the New York Senate and Assembly will vote on a bill that would grant permissions to remove and detain cases, contacts, carriers or anyone suspected of presenting a “significant threat to public health” from public life on an indefinite basis. Bill A416 presents a serious risk to the basic liberties of all Americans in the state of New York, including their right to choose whether or not to receive medical treatment and vaccinations related to thus far undetermined contagious diseases. The bill gives the Governor of New York, his or her delegates – including but not limited to the commissioner and heads of local health departments – the right to remove and detain any individuals or groups of people through issuing a single order. The orders only have to include the individual’s name(s) or “reasonably specific descriptions of the individuals
or groups.”

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