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Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:27 AM
Number of posts: 6,464

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Gov. Bill Haslam drops voucher plan

Source: Nashville Tennessean

Gov. Bill Haslam abruptly withdrew his proposal for school vouchers Wednesday after he and the bill’s sponsor in the state Senate failed to get guarantees from fellow Republicans that they would not try to expand the measure.

Haslam and Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Memphis, asked the Senate Education Committee not to hear Senate Bill 196 at its final meeting Wednesday afternoon. The move came because committee members planned to pursue amendments to the bill. Haslam has said he would not entertain changes.

Haslam proposed offering as many as 5,000 vouchers to low-income students in poorly performing schools next fall, ramping up to 20,000 by 2016. The governor has described his plan as a conservative approach that would help students in the worst schools.


But some Republican lawmakers, led by Education Committee Chairwoman Dolores Gresham, R-Somerville, and state Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, have favored a more expansive plan that would give as many as 10,000 vouchers next year to families statewide. Their proposal also would have raised income level so that a family of four could have made nearly $75,000 annually and qualified.

Read more: http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130403/NEWS/304030178/Gov-Bill-Haslam-drops-voucher-plan


It is just a matter of time until the gerrymandered state gets this through, but at least we won't have to worry about money going to Muslim schools for the time being!!

Tennessee May Deliberately Exclude Muslim Schools From New Voucher Program

This is just amazing to me. The republicans are trying to get in vouchers so they can pay for religious education, but then they finally figure out "wait a minute, that means muslims could pay for muslim school too!"

Isn't that what we've been telling you about prayer in school for years you stupid rednecks?

So, now they want to use the money only for "judeo-christian" schools. What part of separation of church and state are that not getting here? Not only will public money support religious education, but now they want to pick and chose which one.

From this link:



Several conservative lawmakers in Tennessee are throwing the brakes on a fast-moving bill that would divert money away from public schools and towards vouchers for students to attend private or parochial schools. Republicans are taking a second look at the bill after the possibility arose that some Islamic schools could apply for the same funding made available to other religious schools.

The bill is a top priority for Republican Governor Bill Haslam, but several anti-religion lawmakers in the state senate, led by Sen. Bill Ketron who sponsored several anti-Islam bills in the last few years, are hoping to strip away the ability for any school that caters to Muslim children and their families to receive public dollars:

“This is an issue we must address,” state Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) said. “I don’t know whether we can simply amend the bill in such a way that will fix the issue at this point.”

Ketron has cultivated a reputation as the state’s chief Islamophobe, proposing a bill in 2011 that could have introduced punishments of up to 15 years in jail for any Muslim who observed the holy month of Ramadan or prayed five times a day towards Mecca, a religious requirement for observant Muslims.

Georgia high school students organize first integrated prom

Source: wfsa

MACON, GA (WGXA/CNN/WALB) – Students at Wilcox County High School in south Georgia share classrooms and sports fields, but they don't share the same dances. Some students are aiming to change that.


"There's a white prom and then we have our integrated prom," said Bloodworth.

If any race other than Caucasian tries to attend the white prom, Bloodworth said they "would probably have the police come out there and escort them off the premises."

That was the case just last year as a biracial student was turned away by police.

Read more: http://www.wsfa.com/story/21866345/georgia-high-school-students-organize-first-integrated-prom

mind blowing, huh?

Monash University trial to test if cough mixture ingredient could help Down syndrome

Source: Austrailian Broadcasting Co.

The Monash University trial hopes to improve memory, language and learning in people with Down syndrome, but if it's successful, it could be used to fight dementia.

The director of the Centre of Developmental Disability Health Victoria, Associate Professor Bob Davis, said preliminary overseas research found the ingredient known as BTD-001 showed promise in improving the efficiency of nerve conduction in the brain.

"This is the first human trial to see whether it is going to improve the quality of life of people with Down syndrome," he said.

Associate Prof Davis said the ingredient was commonly used from 1920-1980 as a respiratory stimulant to help take people with polio off respirators and to treat the symptoms of dementia.

Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-03-26/cough-syrup-could-help-people-with-down-syndrome/4595598

This is just mesmerizing to me. Amazing to me if this can work to improve the quality of life. This could have such an impact on things like school inclusion if it improves the ability of individuals with down syndrome to communicate. I hope this works out!

ETA: I originally had a link to the Herald Sun but it requires a log on.

University of Tennessee pulls Sex Week funding

Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press

NASHVILLE — Hoping to quell a rising uproar among conservative legislators, UT Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek said Wednesday the campus no longer will use state tax or tuition funds for a controversial event called "Sex Week."
Sex Week will keep $6,700 in student programming dollars but $11,145 from academic programs and departments no longer will be available.

The annual event seeks to highlight sexual health, sexual identity, preventing sexual assault and gender roles. This year, Sex Week features a lesbian bondage expert and a campuswide hunt for a "golden condom."

Social conservatives have been astir at the news. Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, threatened to haul DiPietro before the Senate Education Committee in a blog post over the weekend.

Read more: http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2013/mar/21/ut-pulls-sex-week-funding/?local

Stacey Campfield is a RWNJ fwiw

thank you for the Valentine Heart

I don't know where best to post so hosts please do not be angry. I jus
wanted to say thank you and it is so nice to be thought of and I appreciate it.


E-mails show plotting by lawmakers, GOP on Florida redistricting

Source: Tampa Tribune

TALLAHASSEE — Florida legislative leaders appear to have authorized staff members to use private email accounts and had "brainstorming meetings" with Republican Party consultants to attempt to draw favorable political districts, despite a constitutional ban on such coordination.

The allegations arise from a lawsuit challenging the Senate and congressional redistricting that include emails showing how top aides to House Speaker Will Weatherford, Senate President Don Gaetz and several Gaetz consultants were in frequent contact with operatives who drafted and analyzed maps.

Redistricting takes place every decade to redraw legislative and congressional district boundaries to ensure equal representation.

The emails show that a month after voters in 2010 approved an amendment banning coordination between the party and lawmakers, GOP consultant and Gaetz adviser Rich Heffley called a redistricting "brainstorming" meeting at the chairman's conference room at party headquarters in Tallahassee.

Read more: http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/elections/e-mails-show-plotting-by-lawmakers-gop-on-florida-redistricting/1273743

Pretty clear they broke the law

Boy Scout families deliver petition urging end to policy banning gays

Source: CBS News

The Boy Scouts of America's national executive board began three days of closed meetings Monday that are expected to include a discussion of its policy excluding gay members and leaders, and Scouts on both sides of the debate are weighing in.

The meetings are getting far more attention since the organization announced last week it would consider allowing individual troops to decide whether to allow gay membership. Police and security guards kept watch at the suburban Dallas hotel where the meetings are being held, and reporters were barred from talking to board members.

Several current and former Scouts, leaders and their supporters rallied outside the organization's nearby national headquarters in Irving, Texas, armed with four boxes of what they said were 1.4 million signatures on a petition opposing the Scouts' current policy. Jennifer Tyrrell, who was removed as a den leader of her son's pack in Ohio because she is lesbian, called the exclusion policy "archaic."

"Countless Boy Scouts and leaders have been removed from scouting just because they are being who they are," Tyrrell said. "I don't want one parent to have to tell their sons they can't be part of Scouts because they're not good enough."

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57567529/boy-scout-families-deliver-petition-urging-end-to-policy-banning-gays/

This article reports on efforts to change the BSA ban -

If you would like to express your comments or concerns on this matter, you may call the National Office at 972-580-2000 or send an email to [email protected]

'Gravely distressed': Religion looms large over Boy Scouts decision on gays

Source: NBC NEWS

If prayer can't sway Boy Scouts board members as they vote whether to end the organization's ban on gays, it won't be for lack of trying.

The Boy Scouts of America announcement last week that it may eliminate the exclusion of gays from membership at the national level, leaving the decision to its local units, has drawn a harsh backlash from some of the organization's more religious conservative members, who are "gravely distressed," even as more liberal churches hailed the move.

With more than two-thirds of Scouting groups affiliated with religious bodies, faith plays a large role in the private youth organization.

"I think it’s clear that the Scouts have made a sea change in who they are and that down the road they will be a different organization than they are today,” said Roger “Sing” Oldham, spokesman for the conservative Southern Baptist Convention. Frank S. Page, head of the convention's Executive Committee, urged for a prayer to be held among congregations on Sunday that the board members would not allow gays.

Read more: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/04/16830205-gravely-distressed-religion-looms-large-over-boy-scouts-decision-on-gays?lite

This article is well worth reading, it gives some insight in to the issue and includes voices of insiders who favor the change.

If you would like to express your comments or concerns on this matter, you may call the National Office at 972-580-2000 or send an email to [email protected]

BATTLESTATIONS!': Call-in war waged over Boy Scouts' ban on gays

Source: nbc news

These are the battle cries made by advocates on both sides of the debate over allowing gays into the Boy Scouts. They are urging their supporters to call or email the private youth organization as it weighs lifting its longstanding, controversial ban, with a vote expected next week.

The new policy, now under discussion, would revise the national organization’s rules to allow local sponsoring organizations to decide for themselves whether to admit gay scouts and leaders. If approved, the change could be announced as early as next week, after the Boy Scouts of America's national board holds a regularly scheduled meeting.

On the Facebook page for George Takei, known for his role as Mr. Sulu in Star Trek, he urged those wanting to end the ban to hit their “BATTLESTATIONS!” and to “Takei Stand.” He gave supporters a step-by-step guide, telling them to call, say they were for the change, and then to like and share the message. As of Thursday afternoon, more than 56,000 people had liked his status and 41,000 had shared it, while another 6,000 left comments.

“Let's FLOOD their lines with thousands of calls. (Believe me, the other side's busy, too...),” he wrote.

Read more: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/01/16796116-battlestations-call-in-war-waged-over-boy-scouts-ban-on-gays

The hate groups are rallying the nutballs to try to pressure bsa out of decision, they have a lot of campaigns going.

It would be great to drop a quick call or email,

Here are the contacts sent out by our council:


We should reiterate that a final decision on this matter has NOT been made by the National Executive Board. The regularly scheduled meeting of the Board occurs next week. Once more information becomes available, we will let you know. We do not plan to post any further information until the announcement is made.

If you would like to express your comments or concerns on this matter, you may call the National Office at 972-580-2000 or send an email to [email protected]
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