On March 27, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stimulus Act of 2020 (the "CARES Act"). What is the Act's purpose and who does it benefit? According to The National Law Review,
"Title I of the CARES Act establishes, among other things, the Paycheck Protection Program (the "Paycheck Program") providing for up to $349,000,000,000 in forgivable loans to business concerns which are backed by the United States Small Business Administration (the "SBA"). The Paycheck Program is a short-term program for the "Covered Period" from February 15, 2020, until June 30, 2020, and loans are capped at the lesser of 2.5x a borrower’s LTM average monthly payroll or $10,000,000 per borrower."
Shortly after that, we began to hear stories about businesses that received loans and didn't appear on the surface as the kind of company that should receive a loan. According to the Washington-Post
The COVID-19 closed schools nationwide in the spring of 2020. One day schools were open. The next day they were closed indefinitely as state governors issues stay at home orders. Then schools scrambled to replace familiar face-to-face classroom instruction with online learning. Sports and extracurricular activities became distant memories. Plans for summer school and camps went out the window. Graduations, end of year traditions such as school plays and assemblies are virtual occasions in 2020. It's all so different, so scary, and so unsettling. Yet, you and I know that life must go on.
Dr. Reinhold Niehbur's Serenity Prayer comes to mind as a spiritual anchor for these troubled times:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.
School choice has been a fact in American K-12 education since 1989. That year the State of Wisconsin passed a voucher program which aimed to help students from low-income families in Milwaukee. Since then 39 states have established school choice programs. Depending on the state, school choice programs have expanded to include educational savings accounts, tax credit scholarships, and individual tax credit/deduction which parents can use to send their children to a private school.
Most states also allow parents to transfer their children from underperforming public schools to higher-performing public schools. In addition, many states have permitted the establishment of charter schools as one more alternative to an underperforming public school. Because allocating taxpayer funding to educational resources other than public schools is controversial, numerous legal challenges have been filed. Depending on the state, you will see a variety of workarounds including the afore-mentioned educational savings accounts, tax credit scholarships, and individual tax credits/deductions.
According to the American Federation for Children, the following states now have some form of funding for school choice program. In fact, several states offer several educational choice options. For the latest information https://www.federationforchildren.org/
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
Other resources include Noodle which has assembled a useful guide to the various educational choice options on a regional and state basis.
Since the year 1913, American citizens have voted to elect state senators, but that has not always been the case. Up until the mid-1850s, senators were appointed by the legislatures of the state they represented in a system that worked quite well. The idea behind this method of selection was that allowing state legislatures to elect their senators would strengthen their tie to the national government and allow them to conduct business without the distraction of pressure from the general population.
Upon the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, however, things changed. Senators are now elected by popular vote with each senator representing a single state, and each state is represented by two senators. Senators play an important role in the U.S. government by writing and voting on bills, legislation that affects the people in their representative state.
Because U.S. senators have the power to approve or deny legislation that directly affects their constituents, it is important that each senator be a fair representation of the people and the politics of each state. Problems arise when there is a disconnect between the politics and the people – when a senator votes based on his own agenda rather than the will of the people. Each senator’s educational background and upbringing bears significant weight in the decisions he makes for his state.
We recently conducted a survey of all U.S. senators to collect some information about their educational background. After collecting this information, we analyzed it and were able to draw some interesting
Velcro is a hook and loop fastener which sticks things together. It also has become a popular term for describing a certain kind of over-protective parent. The other term used to describe such parents is helicopter parent. The term drone is also used. I was curious about the phenomenon as I don't recall that Nancy or I were that over-protective with our children. My research indicates that hovering came into vogue with the advent of smartphones. Texting and apps make keeping in touch with your children very easy to do. Having said that, it is very easy to be too involved. That is not good for your child, and her school will not appreciate your velcro tendencies. There has to be a balance between hands-on involvement and a hands-off approach. So, let's approach the issue from that perspective. We will look at how this applies to each grade level as your children progress through their schools.
I was one of those lucky fathers who got to drive his daughters to their pre-schools. In those days back in the 70s, I was on the staff of a large Episcopal church on Long Island. Our house was about 2 miles from my eldest daughter's pre-school. The pre-school was located in the Sunday School classroom wing of the church. In fact, the school had just been established because there was such a strong demand for pre-schools in that south shore community.
Literally, the two of us would get out