Commentary: Public Education’s Alarming Reversal of Learning Trend

School Work

Call it the big reset – downward – in public education.

The alarming plunge in academic performance during the pandemic was met with a significant drop in grading and graduation standards to ease the pressure on students struggling with remote learning. The hope was that hundreds of billions of dollars of emergency federal aid would enable schools to reverse the learning loss and restore the standards.

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Commentary: If Your Kids Aren’t Happy at School, Find Them Another One

“I hated going to school when I was a kid,” said Elon Musk in a 2015 interview. “It was torture.”

When deciding how his own children would be educated, Musk rejected traditional schooling and created his own project-based microschool, Ad Astra, in 2014, on his SpaceX campus. “The kids really love going to school,” said Musk about Ad Astra in that same interview, adding that “they actually think vacations are too long as they want to go back to school.” In 2020, Ad Astra evolved into the fully online school, Astra Nova, and its popular math enrichment spin-off, Synthesis.

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Commentary: Charter Schools Rise to the Challenge

Due to pandemic-related issues, declining birthrates, inferior education, radical curricula, etc., government-run schools are bleeding students. Whereas traditional public schools (TPS) had 50.8 million students enrolled in 2019, the number had shrunk to 49.4 million one year later. The federal government now projects that public school enrollment will fall even further – to 47.3 million – by 2030, an almost 7% drop in 11 years.

Where are the kids going? The U.S. Census Bureau reports that families are moving to private schools and setting up home schools at a great rate. But what can parents do if they can’t home-school or afford a private school and there are no educational freedom laws on the books? Their option then would be charter schools, which are independently operated public schools of choice that aren’t shackled by the litany of rules and regs that TPS are encumbered with and, importantly, are rarely unionized.

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Poll: Voters Satisfied with Local Schools but Not Public Schools in General

A new poll shows a large disparity between how voters think of their local public school system and the nation’s school system as a whole, signaling frustration with larger education issues as opposed to more area-specific ones.

Respondents’ approval of their local schools held constant in the most recent The Center Square Voters’ Voice Poll, which was conducted by Noble Predictive Insights.

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Nearly Half of Homeschool Parents Cite ‘Liberal’ Public Schools as Motivating Factor: Poll

Almost half of parents turning to homeschooling today say they are concerned about their children being “influenced by liberal viewpoints,” according to a Washington Post and George Mason University poll released Tuesday.

The number of American families that are homeschooling saw a significant spike following the COVID-19 pandemic, with one study finding that the number had risen by 30% during the 2021-2022 school year, according to the Urban Institute. A new poll found that, when asked why they decided to homeschool, 46% of families replied that they were worried that “local public schools” are “too influenced by liberal viewpoints,” according to the Post.

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Commentary: Slavery Was Abolished, Yet Bondage Remains

What is slavery? Has it been abolished? Is the truth about American slavery taught in our public schools? There are historically documented answers to these questions. But the primary narrative continually promotes only one truth, and that truth is skewed because people don’t know history.

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Commentary: Students and Teachers Are Ditching Public Schools in Droves

In 1983, the National Commission on Excellence in Education released a report titled, “A Nation at Risk,” which was an important point in the history of American education. The document used dire language, asserting that “the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people.”

The report also stated: “If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.”

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Massachusetts Pro-Family Group Warns Sex Is on School Calendar ‘All Year Long’

LGBTQ activists are seeking to ensure Massachusetts public schools are celebrating their agenda’s events throughout the academic year, Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI) warns parents.

“Sex on the school calendar has become commonplace all over the nation,” a downloadable document from MFI states.

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Oklahoma Governor Signs Executive Order ‘Women’s Bill of Rights’ Defining Male-Female Biological Sex

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt (R) signed an executive order Tuesday that clearly defines male-female sex based on the biological reproductive system.

A press statement from Stitt’s office said he is the “first governor to issue an executive order to boldly stand with women.”

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Catholic Education Soaring in Popularity

The annual conference this month of the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education offered an atmosphere of overall joy and confidence as Catholic schools committed to the teachings of the faith reported they “could not keep up with the demand” for their services, Mark Bauerlein, contributing editor at First Things, wrote this week.

Bauerlein appeared to revel in the stark contrast between the upbeat environment at the Catholic education conference which, he noted, featured tables run by “organizations dedicated to Western civilization, the liberal arts tradition, and Catholic study” that “offered materials blessedly free of the negative politics and rhetoric that fills the discourse of the National Education Association, the ed schools that train teachers, and all too many school boards.”

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Commentary: It’s Time to Acknowledge America’s Education Crisis

The recent Supreme Court ruling regarding college admissions has once again thrust America’s educational system into the spotlight. A major question that has come from this ruling is whether America’s children are being intellectually and academically prepared to even enter or succeed in these colleges and universities. The tragic answer is that America’s public education system is failing to equip our youth with the tools necessary to succeed in higher education and in their future professional lives. We are failing America’s most valuable asset—our children.

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Former Mississippi Governor Points to Success of Legislation Leading State’s Fourth-Graders to Become Top Reading and Math Achievers

Former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) is celebrating the “comeback story” of his state’s fourth graders, who ranked on 2022 national test scores as the nation’s top performers in reading, and second in math, following the enactment of literacy legislation he spearheaded that saved the state from its “dead-last ranking in the United States.”

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New York State’s ‘Best Practice’ Document Urges Schools to Keep Child’s Gender Transition from Parents

The New York State Department of Education (NYSED) published a “legal update and best practice” document last week that encourages schools to keep a child’s claim of a new gender identity from parents.

“The student is in charge of their gender transition and the school’s role is to provide support,” the document states. “Only the student knows whether it is safe to share their identity with caregivers, and schools should be mindful that some TGE [transgender and gender-expansive] students do not want or cannot have their parents/guardians know about their transgender status.”

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Colorado Teachers’ Union Passes Resolution Declaring That Capitalism ‘Inherently Exploits Children’

A major teachers’ union in the state of Colorado recently passed a resolution declaring that the capitalist system of economics “inherently exploits children, public schools, land, labor, and resources.”

According to Fox News, the final draft of the resolution passed by the Colorado Education Association (CEA) reads: “CEA believes that capitalism requires exploitation of children, public schools, land, labor, and/or resources. Capitalism is in opposition to fully addressing systemic racism (the school to prison pipeline), climate change, patriarchy, (gender and LGBTQ disparities), education inequality, and income inequality.”

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Heritage Author Asserts Goal of Leftist Lawmakers’ Demand for Ethnic Studies Curricula in Government Schools Is Erasure of American Culture

A senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation says leftist lawmakers in Democrat-led states such as Minnesota and California are feeding into a culture of victimization and identity politics with their plans for mandatory K-12 ethnic studies curricula, the goal of which, he says, is actually to erase American culture.

In an op-ed at the Washington Examiner Tuesday, Mike Gonzalez wrote that what is most disturbing about the leftist call for mandatory K-12 ethnic studies curricula in government schools is that most of the lawmakers proposing these bills are actually “not in the least bit interested” in learning about the minutiae of the hundreds of ethnic cultures represented in the United States. Rather, “they care only about American culture — or, at least, how to erase it.”

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Woke Washington State School District Board Member Draws Fire for Cutting Music Program With Claim It Fosters ‘White Supremacy’ and ‘Institutional Violence’

An Olympia School District board member in Washington state is the recipient of intense criticism for attempting to justify budget cuts by eliminating the district’s music classes with the claims the classes promote “white supremacy culture” and “significant institutional violence.”

According to Jason Rantz, host of The Jason Rantz Show on 770KTTH, with an expected district budget shortfall of $11.5 million, School Board Director Scott Clifthorne told parents the music program for fourth and fifth-grade students would be eliminated to make the budget cuts.

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Commentary: The Things Students Are Learning After They Left Public Schools During Pandemic

The education disruption caused by mass school closures and prolonged remote instruction beginning three years ago this month led many families to seek other learning options beyond an assigned district school. Emerging research reveals just how significant and sustained that shift was.

In a new report, “Where the Kids Went: Nonpublic Schooling and Demographic Change during the Pandemic Exodus from Public Schools,” Stanford economist Thomas Dee reveals that more than 1.2 million students left district schools during the pandemic response. That exodus endured throughout the 2021/2022 academic year, as families continued to opt for private schools and homeschooling even though most district schools reopened. 

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Dr. Mark McDonald Tells Parents What They Need to Do to Save Their Children from Government Schools

Los Angeles-based psychiatrist Dr. Mark McDonald said “America’s schools are broken” beyond repair and have now become “dangerous” centers of leftist indoctrination – a problem parents must solve by changing their lifestyles, if necessary, to save their children.

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Government School Districts Plan K-12 Closures as Student Enrollment Plunges

Some of the largest public school districts in the nation are planning to close K-12 schools as they face plummeting student enrollment rates. “Nationwide, public school enrollment fell by more than 1.4 million students to 49.4 million between fall 2019 and fall 2020—a decline of roughly 3%, according to data from the U.S. Education Department,” reported the Wall Street Journal in January. “The following school year, enrollment failed to return to prepandemic levels and remained roughly flat.”

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Study: Students in Wisconsin Choice Schools Outperforming Public School Peers

On this National School Choice Week, a new study by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty shows parental choice programs continuing to outperform public schools, particularly in the state’s largest city. 

“Apples to Apples: Accessing Wisconsin State of Education”, accesses Badger State educational performance across public, charter, and private voucher schools.

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Enrollment in Christian Colleges Surges While Students Flee Public Higher Ed Schools

Student enrollment in Christian colleges and universities has increased at the same time many are leaving public sector schools of higher education.

Public sector schools lost 1.1 percent of undergraduates last fall, resulting in a total two-year drop of 4.2 percent since 2020, reported the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

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Ex-LGBTQ Activist ‘De-Programming’ Children Indoctrinated in Government Schools

Former LGBTQ activist K. Yang says she is now actively working to “de-program” children who have been indoctrinated in woke gender ideology in public schools with funding from the New York State Department of Public Health.

In an interview Sunday on Fox & Friends Weekend, Yang explained her conversion from an LGBTQ activist who helped indoctrinate young children in government schools in the tenets of gender ideology.

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Commentary: With Schools Ditching Merit for Diversity, Families of High Achievers Head for the Door

Alex Shilkrut has deep roots in Manhattan, where he has lived for 16 years, works as a physician, and sends his daughter to a public elementary school for gifted students in coveted District 2. 

It’s a good life. But Shilkrut regretfully says he may leave the city, as well as a job he likes in a Manhattan hospital, because of sweeping changes in October that ended selective admissions in most New York City middle schools. 

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Vermont Backs Down on Religion-Free School Choice after SCOTUS Knocks Down Maine Policy

Vermont families that want to send their children to religious schools will no longer be excluded from the state’s tuition benefit program, as a result of legal settlements in two cases brought by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

The plaintiffs who were denied funding under the Town Tuition Program, which provides tuition for students who live in areas without local public schools, will get reimbursement for money spent out of pocket on tuition. Other families denied funding can apply as well.

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Commentary: The Systemic Racism of the Teachers Unions

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that could reverse the 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger decision, in which SCOTUS asserted that the use of an applicant’s race as a factor in an admissions policy of a public educational institution does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The current case specifically cites the use of race in the admissions process at Harvard and the University of North Carolina. The plaintiffs, Students for Fair Admissions, maintain that Harvard violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, “which bars entities that receive federal funding from discriminating based on race, because Asian American applicants are less likely to be admitted than similarly qualified white, Black, or Hispanic applicants.”

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Black and Hispanic Catholic School Students Outperformed Those in Government Schools on Nation’s Report Card Assessments

Results of national education assessments released last week showed unprecedented drops in academic achievement in fourth- and eighth-grade math and reading scores, but black, Hispanic, and low-income Catholic school students outperformed their counterparts in national, charter, and public school averages.

Data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the “Nation’s Report Card,” revealed a dramatic decline in test scores from 2019, when students were last tested.

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Cell Phone Bans in Public Schools Are Trending Nationwide

Seven years ago, the former New York City Schools Chancellor said the city’s decision to lift a ban on cell phones in schools was “common sense.”

Last week, the Philadelphia Board of Education approved a contract of up to $5 million with a company that makes locking phone pouches that allow educators to make classrooms phone-free.

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Data Expert Predicts ‘Homeschool Boom’ After CDC Committee Votes to Add COVID Shot to Children’s Routine Immunizations

Data journalist and pollster Rich Baris posted to social media he predicts a “homeschool boom” following the news that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) vaccine advisory committee unanimously voted to add the COVID shot to the children and adolescent immunization schedule, a move that will likely lead many states to require COVID shots for school attendance.

Baris, also known as “The People’s Pundit,” tweeted Wednesday, “Parents will flip the F–k out, with good reason. Homeschool boom.”

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Parent Rips North Carolina School Board for Promoting Graphic Gay Sex Book to Seventh-Graders

A mother from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District in North Carolina rebuked the school board and superintendent for allowing 7th graders access to a graphic book that promotes “the ins and outs of gay sex.”

Education investigative journalist Christopher Rufo posted the video to Twitter of the parent reading a section of This Book Is Gay by LGBTQ activist Juno Dawson.

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NYC Abandons De Blasio-Era Admissions Policies as Families Flee Public Schools

New York City is changing its admission policies implemented by former Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio, now basing admissions to selective high schools and middle schools on test scores amidst the city’s enrollment drop, according to a press release by New York City Schools Chancellor David C. Banks.

In an effort to admit “top-performing applicants,” the top 15% of students with a grade point average (GPA) of 90 or above, will be vetted first for the selective schools, according to a press release by Banks. The previous admissions policy was a random lottery that allowed underperforming students to receive admission to the screened schools, introduced during the pandemic.

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New Jersey to Become First State to Introduce Global Warming Curriculum in Public Schools

New Jersey is set to become the first state in the country that will mandate its public school students to learn about so-called “global warming,” with curriculum focusing on the subject being introduced in the 2022-2023 academic year.

According to ABC News, the effort was led by Tammy Murphy, the wife of Governor Phil Murphy (D-N.J.). In an interview on Thursday, the First Lady of New Jersey falsely claimed that “climate change is becoming a real reality.”

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Parent Group Reveals States’ Trans Policies Involve Keeping Students’ Gender Identities Secret from Parents and Inviting Students to Turn to LGBTQ Activists for Help

Parents Defending Education’s (PDE) new resource for parents seeks to inform them of their state education agencies’ policies about gender identity and reveals multiple states instruct teachers to keep their students’ gender identities a secret from parents.

As it continues to add information from more states, the national grassroots organization’s resource for parents currently provides links to the websites of 29 state education departments across the country along with their policies regarding transgender students and gender identity.

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Project Veritas Exposes New York City Middle School Teacher Encouraging Children to ‘Throw Bricks’ at People Who Oppose Her Political Agenda

A New York City middle school English teacher told a Project Veritas (PV) undercover journalist she encourages her students to engage in political violence by teaching them “to throw bricks,” not to “black and brown communities,” but at “the people that are actually doing the things that [need to] change.”

In the fourth video of its education series titled “The Secret Curriculum,” New York City Department of Education middle school teacher Ariane Franco is heard telling the PV journalist she teaches her students “there’s strategic ways” to engage in violent protests against the people who oppose her political agenda.

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Chicago Children’s Hospital Partners with Local School Districts to Push Radical Gender Ideology

Chicago’s largest children’s hospital is working with local government school districts to provide training materials that promote radical gender theory and LGBTQ activism.

Education researcher and author Christopher Rufo reported at the New York Post Monday he obtained documents from a whistleblower that show Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago has provided school administrators throughout the Chicago area with gender theory and LGBTQ activist materials to be distributed to teachers, administrators, and staff for ongoing employee training programs.

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Vast Majority of Illinois School Districts Have Opted Out of Radical Sex Ed Standards

The grassroots website Awake-Illinois is reporting that only 23 of 860 school districts in the state have decided to adopt radical sex education standards, based on a national model, while 536 districts have thus far opted out.

Governor J.B. Pritzker (D-IL) signed SB 818 into law in August 2021, with his office claiming the standards are “voluntary” and will “emphasize health, safety, and inclusivity with age-appropriate resources.”

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School Choice Gaining Favor over Teachers’ Unions and Socialist Bureaucrats

“School choice is good for everybody but unions, socialist bureaucrats and the tired education establishment,” libertarian John Stossel wrote Wednesday at the New York Post.

The author and journalist observed the “silver lining” of the COVID pandemic is that parents discovered alternatives to public schools and, as the statistics are telling us, they continue to act on that discovery by removing their children from them – in droves.

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Anti-Christian Bully Dan Savage’s ‘It Gets Better Project’ Sends $10K to 50 School Districts to Push Gender Ideology

LGBTQ activist organization the It Gets Better Project has awarded $10,000 in grant funds to 50 school districts across the country to promote gender ideology.

The project was founded by LGBTQ activist Dan Savage as an organization that provides anti-bullying support for LGBTQ teens, but Savage has a history of bullying teens himself – particularly, those who identify as Christian.

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Report: At Least 181 K-12 Educators Arrested on Child-Related Sex Crimes in First Half of 2022

A Fox News Digital analysis of child sex crime data in school districts around the nation has found a minimum of 181 K-12 educators have been arrested on child-related sex crimes in the first half of 2022.

Among those educators arrested were four principals, 153 teachers, 12 substitute teachers, and 12 teachers’ aides. The crimes ranged from child pornography to rape of students.

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams: ‘We Have a Massive Hemorrhaging of Students’ from Public Schools

New York City public schools are expected to lose nearly 30,000 students by this coming academic year says the city’s Department of Education Office of Student Enrollment, reports the New York Post.

Data from the department show 28,100 fewer students are expected to enroll in city public schools this fall, with another 2,300 fewer students by the end of the academic year, the Post noted, adding, “By the end of next school year, the largest school district in the nation expects to serve a student population of just 760,439 children, the data show.”

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Gallup Poll Shows Americans’ Distrust of Public Schools Along Party Lines

A new Gallup poll shows how declining trust in America’s public schools differs along party lines. 

Overall American trust in public schools remains low, with only 28% reporting that they have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in public schools, which is down from 32% last year. Both numbers are short of the 41% reported in 2020, a level of trust not seen since 2004, with only 29% of Americans reporting having a “great deal” or  “quite a lot” of confidence in public schools in 2018 and 2019. 

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National Education Association President: ‘Radicalized Supreme Court Issuing Decisions That Do Not Reflect Views or Values of America’

The president of the nation’s largest teachers’ union told union delegates at the start of the Representative Assembly (RA) Sunday that 2016 was the year of a “fateful election,” one that made clear the U.S. Supreme Court would become “radicalized.”

In her keynote address Sunday in Chicago, National Education Association (NEA) President Becky Pringle targeted former President Donald Trump for his choices in appointing Supreme Court justices.

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Court Rules in Favor of Pro-Life Advocates Opposing Planned Parenthood’s Plan to Erect Abortion Clinic Next Door to Public Charter School

The DC Court of Appeals has unanimously ruled in favor of pro-life advocates in the nation’s capital in a lawsuit brought by a public charter school that objected to the group’s efforts to stop a Planned Parenthood “abortion mega-facility” from opening next door to the school.

Two Rivers Public Charter School and its board of trustees brought a lawsuit in December 2015 that alleged longtime pro-life activist Ruby Nicdao engaged in harassment and intimidation of students in her campaign to educate parents and the greater community about the consequences of Planned Parenthood’s plans to erect an “abortion mega-facility” next door to the children’s school, a press release from Thomas More Society explained.

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Flash Cards Depicting Pregnant Man Used for Teaching Colors in North Carolina Preschool Classroom

A North Carolina state representative responded to an email from a constituent alerting her to the use of LGBTQ-themed flash cards, including a card with the depiction of a pregnant man, to teach colors to preschool children in an elementary school in the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS).

Upon receiving an email containing the flash card, apparently from “Progress Pride Flag Rainbow Families Flash Cards,” that depicted a pregnant man,” state Rep. Erin Paré (R-Wake) contacted the principal at Ballantine Elementary School in Wake County, noted a press release from North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland).

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Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt Signs Bill Requiring Students to Use Restrooms Corresponding to Sex on Birth Certificate

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill into law Wednesday that requires students to use school restrooms that correspond to their sex as indicated on their birth certificates.

Stitt signed the bill after the state Senate and House approved it, 38-7 and 69-14, respectively.

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Over 1.2 Million Students Have Left Public Schools Since Pandemic

According to a recent survey, over 1.2 million students have abandoned public schools in favor of other alternatives in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, where many public schools shut down in-person learning in favor of “remote” learning.

The Daily Caller reports that the survey, conducted by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), discovered that over 1,268,000 students have fled public schooling since March of 2020. Enrollment initially fell by 2.5 percent in the Fall 2020 semester when lockdowns first began in the spring of that year. The following year, schools that returned to in-person learning restored some of those numbers, while the schools that remained on virtual learning continued to see steep declines.

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MSNBC: Homeschooling a Racist ‘Evangelical War’ to Undermine Integration Policies

An opinion author at MSNBC has condemned homeschooling as a racist tool of evangelical Christians seeking to undermine public schools and policies that promote integration.

“It should come as no surprise that evangelicals, fundamentalists and other religious conservatives have fought against public education since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education,” Anthea Butler wrote at MSNBC in a column published Thursday.

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Abbott Considers Reviving Case Challenging Requirement to Have Illegal Immigrants in Public Schools

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he may challenge a longstanding Supreme Court decision that states U.S. states cannot prohibit illegal immigrant children from attending public schools.

The Republican governor said during a recent radio interview on a San Antonio talk show that he was mulling the action and agreed with the host of the program that the price of educating an expanding group of illegal immigrant children in many languages is “extraordinary.”

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