Commentary: The First Step to Rightsizing Education Spending Is Reforming Teacher Pensions

In the past year, Congress has rushed more than $204 billion in federal emergency funds to states to support K-12 schools. 

But 23 states had fewer incoming students this fall. This declining enrollment is likely in part due to pandemic-related trends but is also a symptom of changing birth rates and families geographically relocating.

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11 States Consider Bans on Teaching Critical Race Theory

Student raising hand in class

Earlier this year, an Aiken County teacher wrote to South Carolina state Rep. Bill Taylor in alarm about critical race theory emerging in public schools. 

“I know full well the insidiousness of the so-called critical race theory that aims to resegregate society, discriminate against those who are white, victimize those who are black, and render America a nation of identity groups rather than Americans,” the teacher wrote. 

Hardly a day goes by, Taylor said, that he doesn’t hear from a constituent on the issue. 

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South Carolina, Montana to Stop Providing Pandemic-Related Welfare

"Come in, we're open" business sign

The states of South Carolina and Montana have both decided in recent days to put an end to their handouts of federal unemployment benefits as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, in an effort to encourage residents to return to the workforce, as per CNN.

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) said in his announcement that “incentives matter, and the vast expansion of federal unemployment benefits is now doing more harm than good. We need to incentivize Montanans to return to the workforce.” Instead, Governor Gianforte announced that the state government will be providing $1,200 checks as bonuses to every citizen who returns to work, using the state’s share of the recent $1.9 trillion stimulus package to pay for it.

In South Carolina, Governor Henry McMaster (R-S.C.) announced on Thursday that the state would be ending their share of federal unemployment benefits, since “what was intended to be a short-term financial assistance for the vulnerable and displaced during the height of the pandemic has turned into a dangerous federal entitlement, incentivizing and paying workers to stay at home rather than encouraging them to return to the workplace.”

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13 States Sue Biden Administration, Demand Ability to Cut Taxes

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

Thirteen states sued President Joe Biden’s administration over an American Rescue Plan provision prohibiting states from cutting taxes after accepting coronavirus relief funds.

The 13-state coalition argued that the provision included in the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package preventing states from cutting taxes if they accept relief from the federal government is unconstitutional. The coalition, led by Republican West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday evening in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

“Never before has the federal government attempted such a complete takeover of state finances,” Morrisey said in a Wednesday statement. “We cannot stand for such overreach.”

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21 States Sue Biden Admin for Revoking Keystone XL Permit

A group of red states sued President Biden and members of his administration on Wednesday over his decision to revoke a key permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, The Hill reported.

The lawsuit is led by Montana and Texas, and backed by 19 other states, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

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Judge Temporarily Blocks South Carolina Abortion Ban

A federal judge temporarily blocked South Carolina’s near total abortion ban Friday barely a day after the governor signed it into law.

Republican South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signed the South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act into law Thursday after it overwhelmingly passed the state’s house Wednesday. U.S. District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis put a 14-day temporary restraining order on the law Friday, the Associated Press reported.

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Public Notice to GOP Senators, Congressman: State Parties Will Rebuke You for Disloyal Votes Against Trump

Republican lawmakers, who voted to impeach or convict President Donald J. Trump, earned rebukes from their home states – a new trend of holding GOP legislators accountable for their actions in Washington.

“Wrong vote, Sen. Burr,” Tweeted former congressman Mark Warner. “I am running to replace Richard Burr because North Carolina needs a true conservative champion as their next senator.”

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South Carolina Senate Candidate Suggests Amy Coney Barrett Might Allow Racial Segregation to Return

South Carolina Senate candidate Jaime Harrison suggested Wednesday that Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett might allow racial segregation to return, video shows.

Harrison spoke Wednesday at a Post and Courier Pints and Politics event in Columbia, South Carolina, where he discussed whether he would vote for Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.

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North And South Carolina Declare State Of Emergency As Florence Bears Down

Tennessee Star

by Chris White   South Carolina followed North Carolina’s footsteps in declaring a state of emergency Saturday as Tropical Storm Florence approaches the East Coast on its way to becoming a hurricane. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency Friday, as the state prepares to make resources available if…

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Court Backtracks On Order Forcing Trump’s EPA To Enforce Obama-Era Rule

chemical plant

by Chris White   A federal court back-peddled Tuesday night after business groups criticized a previous order forcing the EPA to enforce an Obama-era rule designed to regulate chemical plants. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an original ruling Aug. 31 after activists asked the judges to skip…

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Congressional Candidate Katie Arrington Out Of Intensive Care After Car Crash

Katie Arrington

by Evie Forham   South Carolina Republican congressional candidate Katie Arrington was moved out of intensive care and has begun physical therapy after a June 22 car crash left her in serious condition, a Thursday tweet from candidate’s Twitter account said. Arrington is expected to make a full recovery after the collision.…

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South Carolina Congressional Hopeful Katie Arrington Badly Injured in Fatal Car Crash, Democrat Opponent Suspends Campaign, Calls for Prayer

Katie Arrington

by Thomas Phippen   South Carolina Republican congressional candidate Katie Arrington was injured in a car accident late Friday night, days after defeating incumbent Rep. Mark Sanford for the party’s nomination. Arrington was in the passenger seat of a car heading toward Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, when her vehicle was…

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