President: Rae Chornenky
 
Editor: Maria Jeffrey

Indiana's School Choice Voucher Law

 

Last week, in a 5 to 0 ruling, the Indiana Supreme Court upheld Indiana's school voucher program put in place two years ago by then Republican Governor Mitch Daniels.  The State law offers families up to $4,500 to attend schools outside of the public education system, coming into conflict with claims against it made by the public schools' teacher-based unions. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a similar Ohio program in 2002.

 

The Indiana program is more ambitious than most, making all families eligible to apply for vouchers, not just low-income families or those with children in failing schools.  Middle-class families are eligible to apply for vouchers and vouchers are offered statewide, even to families living in areas with adequate public schools. Thus, all parents are able to choose where their children go to school, according to Republican Governor Mike Pence.

             
             In 2011, President Obama's Education Secretary Arne Duncan was quoted as saying that education is "the civil rights issue of our time," so one would think the administration would embrace programs such as the Indiana law.  The opposite is true, however, where Obama has sought unsuccessfully to defund Washington D.C.'s Opportunity Scholarships voucher program, which is very popular with D.C.'s low-income parents. As The Washington Times claims, Obama "is dead set against any reform that might upset powerful public-sector unions." 

Pew Research Poll: The Republican Party is Most Associated With "Strong Principles"

 

             In late February, Pew Research polled 1,504 adults about which political Party they associated with the following negative phrases: "out of touch with the American people" and "too extreme;" and the following positive phrases: "open to change," "strong principles," and "looks out for the country's future." The Republican Party was associated with both negative phrases and only with one of the positive phrases, while the Democratic Party was associated with two out of the three positive phrases: "open to change" and "looks out for the country's future." The one positive phrase that the Republican Party was associated with is the most important of all: "strong principles."

 

             Indeed, 62% of Independents polled said the Republican Party has strong principles, "the most positive measure for any party trait tested," according to the report. Further, "Even about half of Democrats (52%) say the Republican Party has strong principles," says the report--even if 52% is slightly more than half.

 

             The poll also shows that the Republican Party is not that far behind the Democratic Party when it comes to whether the Party is looking out for the country's future-45% polled said the Republican Party was looking out for the future of the country more than the Democratic Party, while 51% polled said the Democratic Party was looking out for the future of the country more.

 

To see the report, click here

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