Reading, writing, arithmetic…these aren’t controversial topics, and neither should be the education of our children. Kids are supposed to go to school to learn life skills and become productive members of society. This isn’t complicated. And yet, schools are increasingly becoming the primary tool of a radical agenda to indoctrinate children in leftist ideology.
Take the 1619 Project for example. Various schools across the country have adopted a history curriculum centered on this series of essays from The New York Times,which claims that the United States was actually founded on slavery in the year 1619.
But the radicalization doesn’t stop there.
A school district policy in Madison, Wisconsin not only helps children adopt transgender identities, but it instructs teachers to lie about it to parents.
And right here in Peoria, Arizona, parents are dealing with similar frustrations after district officials denied them access to review learning materials that appear to be based on the principles of the Black Lives Matter organization.
In a year that’s already been challenging enough for parents as they’ve navigated through COVID, online learning, “sick outs,” and more, you would think that school districts would seek to build trust with them.
But apparently some public schools are too committed to their agenda.
Thankfully, the Arizona Senate is seeking to create more transparency through SB1058. This bill, which has now been transmitted to the House, requires district and charter schools to post a list of procedures used to review and approve learning materials on a prominent portion of their websites. In addition, they would also have to post procedures by which a parent can review learning materials in advance.
But what about district and charter schools that do not have such procedures? They would have to clearly state this on their websites.
While Arizona law currently allows for parents to review learning materials, the process hasn’t always been easy. And many parents have grown frustrated by officials who block access to curriculum.
But SB1058 would allow for more transparency from schools without burdening the staff. This should be a win-win for everyone involved, except of course for schools that have something to hide.
After all, any school that’s currently featuring the 1619 Project as part of its history curriculum probably doesn’t want parents to know that several renowned historians have criticized it for being inaccurate and pushing a false narrative. And they also probably don’t want them to know that Nikole Hannah-Jones, the architect behind the 1619 Project, has admitted that the whole point behind it is to make an argument for slavery reparations.
But a bill like SB1058 would help bring this to light. And while more work needs to be done, this is definitely a step in the right direction. Parents have a right to know if ahistorical and fringe topics are being taught to their children. And now the House needs to pass this essential piece of legislation to give parents the transparency they deserve from the schools their children attend.
Despite the clearly expressed wishes of Arizona voters that public schools teach in English only, state lawmakers are working to undo those requirements so taxpayers will have to fund bilingual education for foreigners. Experts warned of devastation for non-native English speakers.
In 2000, voters in the state elected to enshrine English only in their government-school system through Proposition 203. Non-native English speakers were offered English immersion to bring them up to speed in the language as quickly as possible.
But now, lawmakers have passed HCR2005 and SCR2010 to repeal those measures. Instead, tax-funded government schools would establish “dual-language immersion programs” for non-native English speakers, allowing them to take classes in their native languages, too.
Immigrants, especially, expressed outrage over the plot. AZ Rapid Response Team Founder Jose Borrajero, who immigrated legally from Cuba, expressed shock and bewilderment that lawmakers would seek to introduce bi-lingual teaching in American government schools.
“It is hard for me to understand why anyone would promote teaching public-school students who are English learners using the bi-lingual method,” Borrajero said, suggesting there may be a “sinister agenda in mind” among proponents of the scheme.
In fact, his own experience as an immigrant “strongly supports” the notion that total immersion in English is necessary for foreign-born students to succeed in America. Without having been forced to study in English — and English only — Borrajero suggested his life may have been very different.
“The most important hurdle for a learner of English, or any other foreign language, is learning to think in that language,” he said, noting that being totally immersed in the language is what makes that possible. “It is absolutely, positively impossible to do that using bilingual education.”
In any case, most experts also agree that the best way to learn a foreign language in a foreign land is by total immersion in that language, he said. Failing to provide this to foreign-born, non-native speaking students will “condemn them to a lifetime of menial, low-paying jobs,” Borrajero added.
English language immersion experts are also speaking out. English teacher Johanna Haver, who taught for two decades and wrote three books on education, blasted lawmakers seeking to erase the only protection available to Arizona’s Hispanic English learners to be able to learn America’s language.
“Let’s not behave stupidly,” warned Haver, who published the book Vindicated: Closing the Hispanic Achievement Gap through English Immersion in 2018 on this very subject. She also noted that federal schemes initiated under Obama were at work behind the scenes, at the expense of students.
Former Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas also blasted the effort in comments to The Newman Report. “Their ‘good intentions’ (and we all know what road THOSE pave) will relegate these non-English speaking students to second-class citizen status,” she warned.
Douglas, who now serves on the Advisory Board of Public School Exit urging parents to get their children out of government schools, warned of systemic problems, too. “If English Immersion is a failure it is only due to a system that can’t teach English Language Arts to native English speakers; never mind teaching English to non-English speaking students,” she said.
The bill to end the English immersion mandate passed the Arizona Senate overwhelmingly, with just 7 out of 16 Republicans voting against it. The only “no” vote in the House came from Representative Quang Nguyen (R-LD1) – an immigrant who learned English through immersion. If it is not stopped in either chamber on the next vote, voters will have one opportunity to stop the scheme before it takes effect.
The powerful forces behind the scenes supporting this effort do not have the well-being of foreign-born children in Arizona in mind. Instead, they have a subversive agenda to create a divided America where people do not share the same history, culture, love of liberty, or even the same language. The agenda to divide and conquer America must be stopped.
It’s not every day that an innovative tax reform proposal also results in exposing one of the biggest political lies of the year. Yet that is exactly what has happened with the introduction of Senate Bill 1783, legislation introduced by State Senator Javan Mesnard.
Geared toward promoting small business growth and investment, SB 1783 would establish an optional, alternative small business tax code in Arizona. Under this proposal, policymakers would be able to craft and develop a tax code tailored specifically for small business owners, with an eye at setting competitive, pro-small business tax rates.
Exploring tax reform geared toward small business makes a lot of sense, especially since Arizona recently joined the ranks of other uncompetitive high tax states. Arizona currently has the 9th highest small business income tax rate, 11th highest state sales tax and 20th highest business property tax in the nation.
More than 100,000 Arizona voters on the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) have not voted by early ballot in the past four years.
Think about that for a moment. These are people who asked to be on the PEVL but are choosing not to use the system. Not only does this waste taxpayers like you money by sending out unwanted ballots, but it compromises the integrity of our elections.
If someone isn’t using the system, they shouldn’t continue to receive an early ballot by mail. Thankfully, the Arizona Senate addressed the PEVL on Tuesday by passing SB1485, a bill sponsored by Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R-LD23). And predictably, as the bill heads to the Arizona House, Democrats are losing their minds. While most of them are mischaracterizing this bill as “voter suppression,” others have called it a “full-on assault on Democracy,” and Representative Athena Salman (D-LD26) couldn’t help but label it as “racist.”
But while Arizona Democrats proceeded to hurl unhinged attacks and insults at proponents of the legislation, it’s important to look at what this bill actually does. And it’s not that complicated.
SB1485 simply changes the name of the list from the PEVL to the Early Voting List (EVL). That means voters can continue to vote early and by mail as long as they are on the list. But if an individual doesn’t vote by early ballot in both the primary election and the general election for two consecutive cycles, he or she will receive a notice from their county recorder. Failure to respond to the notice means the voter will be removed from the list.
As you can see, this isn’t some sinister conspiracy like Democrats are making it out to be.
There’s nothing in the bill that prevents a voter from being placed back on the list. And it certainly has no impact on someone’s voter registration status.
By Scott Walter and Aimee Yentes | AZ Free Enterprise Club |
How many Arizonans like the idea of one billionaire family manipulating the way Arizona county election offices operate? That’s an unpopular idea for people across the political spectrum, especially when the billionaire is Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whose controversial actions make him distrusted by Left and Right.
Yet that’s what happened last November, in Arizona and dozens of other states. Zuckerberg and his wife gave $350 million to a supposedly “nonpartisan” nonprofit, the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), which in turn re-granted the money to thousands of local government election offices across America, including nine of Arizona’s 15 counties.
Details aren’t easy to come by, because CTCL has refused to answer questions from the New YorkTimes, the Associated Press, National Public Radio, and others. Despite CTCL declaring grants were meant to offset unforeseen expenses due to COVID-19, reports show that only a tiny fraction of the monies typically went to things like Personal Protective Equipment. CTCL cared much more about financing liberally placed drop boxes around each county and how many foreign languages ads would appear in.
That’s because CTCL’s leaders are experts in every trick in the Left’s handbook of juicing turnout in the locales and demographics that help their preferred political party. CTCL’s founders all came from another group, now defunct: the New Organizing Institute. Unlike CTCL, which is a so-called 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit that’s legally required to be nonpartisan, the New Organizing Institute was a 501(c)(4) nonprofit which allowed it more flexibility to meddle in politics. And meddle it did. The Washington Post bluntly called it, “the Democratic Party’s Hogwarts for digital wizardry,” because it spread that party’s state-of-the-art voter turnout techniques.
How similar are CTCL and the New Organizing Institute? So similar that the Capital Research Center posted a quiz with texts from both groups’ websites, to see if readers could tell one from the other. It’s a hard test, because the groups’ missions are essentially the same: turn out voters that will favor their preferred candidates.
Did that happen in November? Yes. The Capital Research Center analyzed state after battleground state to see if there were partisan patterns in CTCL’s funding and the election returns. Again, CTCL’s failure to reveal its funding makes data incomplete, but most states, though apparently not Arizona, saw CTCL’s cash go disproportionately to big cities rich with Democratic votes, like Philadelphia.
The near-universal effect of CTCL’s grants was disproportionately greater turnout for one political party. Here’s how it broke down in Arizona, comparing the votes for president in 2020 versus 2016. All 15 counties increased their votes for both parties, but not at all equally. And both parties saw their votes increase even more in the nine counties CTCL funded than the six counties it did not. Here especially the results were unequal.
For the Republicans, the funded counties’ votes increased by 46% more than the rate at which unfunded counties increased. For Democrats, funded counties’ votes skyrocketed upwards 81% more quickly than they rose in unfunded counties.
That inequality in turnout translated into a lot of votes. Again, both parties had more 2020 votes in those nine CTCL-funded counties. But the additional votes Democrats received there gave them a margin over their opponents of 129,000 votes, or more than ten times the Democrats’ state-wide margin of victory.
The Arizona legislature is considering a bill that would ban private funding of county election offices, and we both testified on it. We understand why counties always like possible extra funds, but CTCL’s 2020 scheme raises the question whether Arizona’s elections will be fair if they’re controlled by billionaires instead of the people’s elected representatives.
America’s recent presidents have been all over the spectrum politically, but they shared one thing in common: near total indifference to our national debt.
George W. Bush wasn’t that interested in fiscal matters, not vetoing a single bill his first six years in office. He exerted little influence as the deficit started to climb. Barack Obama zealously pursued spend and borrow strategies. He affirmed the mindset of ignoring future implications.
Fiscal conservatives who hoped a Republican president could right the ship were crushed when Donald Trump announced the giant entitlement programs were safe from reform on his watch.
Now, Joe Biden, in a time of peace and prosperity, except for our self-inflicted Covid relief spending, has proposed a $6.1 trillion budget which includes authorization of almost $4 billion of borrowing in a single year. That’s enough debt, inflation adjusted, to finance the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Great Depression and both world wars combined (but not the Green New Deal).
Why do presidents matter? After all, appropriations bills must originate in the House and the president has no constitutional spending authority.
The reason is that most politicians, including many who won’t admit it, love spending money without having to raise taxes. Budget cutting is tough work and costs political support.
No matter how urgent the reductions or how indefensible the cause, the deprived party always raises a media-supported stink while the beneficiaries – the taxpayers of the future – are mute. Knowing that your “conservative“ leaders aren’t fully behind your cost cutting efforts stymies even the most stalwart legislators.
But the Biden administration is breaking new ground. They came into office with the virus on the wane, vaccinations becoming available through the prodigious efforts of their predecessors and the economy growing. Meanwhile the graph showing the growth of federal debt, now over 100% of GDP, resembles a hockey stick.
But they didn’t despair at the apparent lack of opportunity to spend now that they had the reins. The New Republic advised to “spend like crazy“ anyway and influential party leftists like AOC and Bernie agreed. So they created an imaginary crisis requiring $1.9 trillion more in Covid relief in addition to the $3.7 trillion already spent.
Pitching a crisis just now isn’t easy to do. The housing market is up 12%, manufacturing is at a five-year high, unemployment is falling and private sector GDP growth was 4.3% in the last quarter.
Still, they soldier on. But the “Covid relief” bill looks suspiciously like a Democrat wish list. There’s a $15 minimum wage mandate. Those who are still unable or unwilling to work get a $400 per week bonus employment benefit, which will make working a losing proposition for many. Schools get $130 billion, even though they have been mostly closed and unable to spend their previous allocation.
There’s $400 billion to bail out overly generous pension plan promises in big spending states. There’s pork galore. Art, farms, climate, bridges, you name it. About 4% of the funding goes to directly combating Covid.
Biden is determined to reward his political supporters. He preposterously insists that he learned the dangers of spending too little from the 2009 “shovel ready“ infrastructure debacle and won’t repeat that mistake. It’s not intuitively clear how, if they couldn’t constructively spend $830 billion, even more money to bungle would have helped. Still, spending for its own sake has become the de facto operating principle.
Republicans as usual are ramping up their anti-spending rhetoric now that Democrats are in charge. Democrats love to point out Republican past fiscal failures to justify their own reckless behavior.
But not one congressional Democrat has stood up to demand a stop to the madness. Groupthink is a powerful force. Surely some of them must be sane enough to recognize that we are on an unsustainable and highly dangerous path and that we are unconscionably victimizing our children and grandchildren.
It’s not rocket science. Yet the desire to be a good member of their tribe trumps all.
So this is how the new Bidenland works. There’s no longer any need for Covid economic relief and, if there were, this “rescue” bill wouldn’t provide it. We spend because we can.
Dr. Thomas Patterson, former Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, is a retired emergency physician. He served as an Arizona State senator for 10 years in the 1990s, and as Majority Leader from 93-96. He is the author of Arizona’s original charter schools bill.