In 2008, under the leadership of Governor Bobby Jindal, Louisiana launched an educational scholarship program in New Orleans. The Louisiana Scholarship Program, similar to Alabama's new scholarship program created by the Accountability Act, is designed to provide low-income students zoned for underperforming schools with opportunities to attend qualified private schools within the State. In 2012, Governor Jindal prioritized expansion of the program that is now available to students anywhere in the State. Over 5,000 students took advantage of the program in its first year.
In August, the U.S. Department of Justice petitioned a federal court to block the distribution of scholarships in Louisiana school districts that are restricted by desegregation orders. Out of Louisiana's 69 school districts, 34 are still operating under desegregation orders put in place during the Civil Rights Era. These decades-old orders evolved from lawsuits over segregation in public schools and require that school districts meet a variety of racial quotas and proportions in student body and administration. The court orders have no definitive end and are monitored by both the federal judge originally assigned to the case and the U.S. Department of Justice. However, there is very little readily available information on the status of these orders and school districts seeking relief face an uphill battle in even knowing where to begin the daunting process of seeking release.
The Justice Department's August filing asked the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana to stop the State from awarding any school vouchers or scholarships to students attending school in districts operating under federal desegregation orders unless and until the State receives authorization from the Court. In essence, the U.S. Department of Justice chose to prioritize the stringent, and in some cases arbitrary, race-based requirements of a nearly 40-year-old court order over the immediate opportunity for a low-income child to have a chance to pursue a better education outside of his or her assigned failing school. The irony is that a State-based study on the racial effects of Louisiana's scholarship program concluded that the school choice program either improved or had no impact on racial ratios within the schools. more >>
A Massachusetts superior court judge has rejected a motion for an injunction against a program that would provide taxpayer funds to go to a restoration project for a historic church located in Martha's Vineyard.
Judge Richard T. Moses ruled earlier this week against a preliminary injunction being brought to halt the Community Preservation Coalition's funding of restoration work to Trinity United Methodist Church of Oak Bluffs Campground. "The court finds that there has been an insufficient showing of a likelihood of success on the merits and that granting of the injunction wouldn't be in the public interest," wrote Moses.
Established in 2000 by the Community Preservation Act, the CPC's stated purpose is to help Massachusetts communities preserve various sites and locales as well as help with growth. "CPA is a smart growth tool that helps communities preserve open space and historic sites, create affordable housing, and develop outdoor recreational facilities," reads the "Overview" entry on its website. more >>
For most Americans, the first Thanksgiving brings to mind images of pilgrims and Indians, a fierce winter, and hopeful British settlers coming to America to found a "New England."
Today, across the country, schools and communities reenact events featuring black-clad Europeans with funny hats, generic Native Americans with feathers, and food items like turkey and pumpkin pie.
Yet the first Thanksgiving may have taken place years earlier in a much warmer climate with a completely different cast of characters. more >>
A Harvard University student Christian journal has apologized for publishing an anonymous essay online that states that Jews were to blame for killing Jesus and so consequently were the cause of their own persecution since the death of Christ.
In the essay published last week by The Harvard Ichthus entitled "Why Us?" the author stated "We, the Jews, collectively rejected God and hung Him up on a cross to die, and thus we deserved the punishments that were heaped on our heads over the last 2000 years."
Aaron Gyde, the journal's editor-in-chief, apologized for "inadequate editorial oversight in the publishing and re-publishing of this blog post." more >>
Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association (AHA), which effectively stopped two schools from participating in Operation Christmas Child by threatening lawsuits, said he's satisfied with the outcome.
As previously reported by The Christian Post, AHA sent letters to East Point Academy in West Columbia, S.C., and SkyView Academy, a charter elementary school located in Douglas County, Colo., threatening to file lawsuits against the schools if they continued to participate in Operation Christmas Child, a project of evangelist Franklin Graham's international Christian relief organization Samaritan's Purse that seeks to deliver Christmas toys to needy children throughout the world.
Containing small gifts, the shoeboxes also include a small note inviting recipients to join in Christianity. more >>
A public charter school was recently warned by an unidentified, anti-religion organization to not perform faith-based Christmas carols during their winter concert and threatened that they would pursue possible litigation if they did not comply.
The band director at York Preparatory Academy in Rock Hill, S.C., decided to exclude "Joy to the World" and "O Come All Ye Faithful," from their Dec. 19 performance after the school received the letter, even though the songs were going to be a part of the program before the communication was sent out by the organization.
In defense of concerned parents whose two children attend the school, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an alliance-building legal ministry that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith, sent York a letter urging them to immediately rescind the ban put in place by school officials. The ADF told The Christian Post that the school would not specify which organization sent them the letter and after several attempts, York did not return CP's phone call for comment. more >>