This weekly round-up shares the latest news about what the Network is doing to promote state-based solutions that will improve the lives of families, workers, and local communities. If you are an SPN member and have an update you’d like us to include in next week’s round-up, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org (all submissions are subject to SPN approval).
- The Alaska Governor named Alaska Policy Forum’s Executive Director Bethany Marcum to the state’s redistricting board. The redistricting board is charged with the once-per-decade job of redrawing the state’s political boundaries to accommodate changes in population.
This Week on SPN.org
Poll Results: What are parents thinking about education?
SPN’s Katherine Bathgate highlights key findings on a nationwide poll on education.
GCO partners with business leaders and nonprofits to help low-income Georgians find meaningful work
Through partnerships with local business leaders and nonprofits, the Georgia Center for Opportunity has helped more than 100 disadvantaged people turn their lives around and find employment.
Through Powerful Storytelling, Illinois Policy Institute Exposes the Economic and Human Costs of Illinois’ Lockdown
Find out how Illinois Policy Institute used storytelling to shed light on the toll the economic shutdown was having on average Illinoisans.
Idaho Freedom Foundation makes property tax relief possible for Idahoans during the coronavirus pandemic
A summary of how IFF brought property tax relief to Idaho residents.
Solutions from the states:
This week’s policy briefs
The Supreme Court in Review: 2019-2020 Term
Alabama Policy Institute
Letting the CAT Out of the Bag: How to Improve Ohio’s Economy and National Rankings
The Buckeye Institute
Paid Not to Work: How Congress’s Unemployment Insurance Boost Hurts Low-wage Workers
Foundation for Government Accountability
Quantifying the Cost of the Jones Act to Hawaii
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
How Should Massachusetts Reopen Its K-12 Schools in the Fall? Lessons from Abroad and Other States
Public Policy Guide for Economic Recovery from COVID-19 for Hospitality and Retail Businesses
RI Political Spending: A Web of Corruption
Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity
Collective Bargaining Agreements and Police Accountability: Stopping the Problem Before It Begins
Thomas Jefferson Institute
Policy news from the states
- The Alabama Policy Institute noted the governor’s “masks in class” order goes too far, is unenforceable, and burdensome to students and teachers.
- The Cascade Policy Institute encouraged Oregon legislators to remove the online charter school enrollment cap.
- As parents prepare for the upcoming school year, the Georgia Center for Opportunity published tips on how parents can support their child’s virtual teachers.
- Idaho Freedom Foundation shared solutions on how the state can improve in Math and English as it revises its current education standards.
- The American Legislative Exchange Council featured the James Madison Institute‘s video on the Wood family of Orlando at its recent education workshop. The video examines the education of two siblings who are part of an Orlando “hybrid” school community that is taking customized learning to new heights.
- Kansas Policy Institute reviewed what the Espinoza decision means for school choice in Kansas.
- The Mackinac Center launched a website with resources for parents who are wondering what options are available to keep their child learning at home.
- The Mississippi Center for Public Policy provided information for parents on how to homeschool in Mississippi.
- Nevada Policy Research Institute explained what microschooling is and explained why it’s a solution for learning during the coronavirus pandemic.
- After a temporary restraining order was placed on the Safe Access to Flexible Education (SAFE) Grants program in South Carolina, the Palmetto Promise Institute asked a judge to allow the program to move forward.
- Sutherland Institute shared insights from a Cato education expert on the coronavirus’ implications for competency-based education (CBE), an approach which allows students to progress through learning as quickly or as slowly as they demonstrate competency in a topic.
- The Washington Policy Center argued parents should get a $3,000 education voucher if schools stay closed this fall.
- The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty filed an amicus brief in Michigan v. DeVos, a case between a group of state attorneys general and the federal Education Department over the availability of CARES Act funding for private schools. Several state think tanks signed on to the brief.
- The Wyoming Liberty Group explained the benefits of Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) and encouraged lawmakers to pass a an ESA bill in the 2021 session.
- The Beacon Center of Tennessee encouraged local governments to focusoncore services, not city city-owned enterprises like golf courses.
- The Tax Education Foundation of Iowa noted that at the heart of high property taxes is local government spending.
- Alaska Policy Forum reviewed a new report that shows Alaskan per capita expenditures on healthcare have been growing significantly faster than the national average over the past two decades.
- The Bluegrass Institute found the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet awarded $186.9 million in single bid contracts over a six-month period. Bluegrass noted that noncompetitive single-bid awards waste resources and diminish public trust that government agencies represent the taxpayers’ best interests.
- The US Economic Development Administration’s “Cluster Mapping” system has made comparing the performance of states, counties, and metropolitan areas easy for corporations. The Caesar Rodney Institute‘s Dr. John Stapleford used this tool for his latest review of Delaware’s economic performance rating. He further discussed the state’s performance on Delaware’s WDEL morning show.
- The Reason Foundation signed onto an amicus brief rejecting a decision by the IRS to expand its powers under the Anti-Injunction Act, a federal law that restricts a federal court’s authority to issue an injunction against ongoing state court proceedings.
Think Tanks in the News
- The Alaska Policy Forum pointed out that significantly reducing state spending is the only realistic option for responsibly dealing with Alaska’s budget crisis.
- In The Orange County Register, the California Policy Center considered the impact the Janus decision is having on government unions.
- In National Review, the Commonwealth Foundation told the story of John Kabler, a government employee who did not like the idea of paying union dues to support political opinions that were not his own.
- The Foundation for Government Accountability highlighted how the $600 job bonus is crushing small businesses and encouraged policymakers to let it expire.
- Several media outlets, including Newsmax, Newsweek, RedState, and The Hill covered the Freedom Foundation’s lawsuit against the Oregon Governor’s mask mandates.
- The Ethan Allen Institute highlighted an entrepreneurial surgical hospital in India that delivers high quality services at strikingly low prices.
- As federal lawmakers debate the next COVID-19 relief bill, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation noted Senate Republicans’ “phase four” plan reportedly includes much greater flexibility for state and local governments on how they spend the money.
- With unemployment at record levels, the Goldwater Institute encouraged California’s leaders to find ways to simplify and reduce regulations and let business owners find new, safe ways to provide services.
- The Chicago Tribune editorial board cited the Illinois Policy Institute’s work on pensions.
- In The Hill, the Mackinac Center argued police reform won’t happen without fixing police disciplinary processes.
- In The Wall Street Journal, the Maryland Public Policy Institute highlighted how the most apocalyptic predictions of mass COVID-19-related deaths behind prison walls haven’t come to pass.
- The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs argued keeping students at home this fall and moving to online instruction will have catastrophic consequences for families and society at large.
- As the federal government’s emergency unemployment benefits are set to expire this week, the Pacific Research Institute highlighted how an extension of those benefits would slow our economic recovery .
- In The National Interest, the Texas Public Policy Foundation explained how America’s criminal justice system can benefit from the coronavirus crisis.
- The Thomas Jefferson Institute encouraged Virginia lawmakers to limit the scope of collective bargaining agreements with police unions.
Virtual Events & Opportunities
School Choice and Beyond: Faith-based government partnerships after the death knell for Blaine Amendments
Becket | August 5, 2020
*To RSVP, please email email@example.com by August 3rd with your name, email address, affiliation, and the phone number you will be using to call in (if not attending via webinar)
Sutherland Institute launched their 2020 congressional series. They continue in the annual tradition of bringing each member of Utah’s delegation closer to their constituents. Topics for these virtual events/webinars will range from national security to religious liberty to fiscal responsibility in the pandemic era.