Every summer, I have the pleasure of attending the National Conference of State Legislatures annual conference. I am AU’s State Legislative Counsel and this conference, the biggest gathering of state legislators and staff in the country, gives us with the opportunity to educate state legislators and their staff, about AU, our mission, and how we can work with them to fight for religious freedom.
On Friday, The Washington Post reported that the U.S. Department of Education will begin collecting data this year to track religiously motivated discrimination or bullying allegations from students.
“Students of all religions should feel safe, welcome and valued in our nation’s schools,” Catherine E. Lhamon, the department’s assistant secretary for civil rights, said in an announcement.
This week, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, an independent agency that works for Congress and investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer money, released a new report on private school voucher programs. The report found that as private school voucher programs continue to spread throughout the states, taxpayers are contributing more and more money each year to programs that are plagued with problems.
There has been more debate than ever this campaign season about whether or not houses of worship should be permitted to endorse or oppose candidates for office. This is mostly thanks to Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, who has repeatedly said that if he is elected he will end legal restrictions that keep churches from acting like political action committees.
Yesterday AU Communications Associate Rokia Hassanein wrote about attending the Values Voter Summit (VVS) for the first time. I felt a little guilty throwing her into the abyss when she’s been with AU for less than a month, but Rokia had a good attitude about it. I know she heard and felt some things that surprised her.
I went to my first Values Voter Summit (VVS) over the weekend, and it was… unique, to say the least.
It was interesting to see a loud majority gather together in a series of events to discuss how oppressed they are for not being able to oppress other people with their religious dogma.
I have too many thoughts. So, I’m going to narrow it down to a few things that popped up to me.
Yesterday, Donald Trump unveiled his education plan. It lacks any vision for strengthening our public schools. Instead, it would divert $20 billion in federal funding to “school choice,” including private school vouchers.
A lot of people around the country have been debating whether Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during the national anthem prior to games is an appropriate form of silent protest against racial injustice.