Poll Finds Majority of Americans Oppose School Vouchers
A new Gallup poll shows that a majority of Americans do not support school voucher programs.
The poll, conducted by PDK/Gallup and based on 1,001 phone interviews, shows that 70% of Americans do not support voucher programs [PDF] that allow state funds to be used for private or religiously-affiliated charter schools. It is the highest opposition the study has found to voucher programs to date, and reflects a sharp increase from opposition recorded last year (in 2012, 55% of respondents opposed voucher programs).
Despite public opposition, conservative lawmakers continue to propose voucher programs. Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli openly supports directing state funding to religiously-affiliated schools and creating a voucher program as part of his education platform.
"The American people want a well-funded public school system that benefits all, not a patchwork of unaccountable private schools that cater to a few," said Maggie Garret, co-chair of the National Coalition for Public Education, in a recent press release [PDF.] "The taxpayer-funded school voucher experiment has been tried and failed. It's time to put the emphasis back on public education."
Media Resources: PDK/Gallup 8/21/2013; National Coalition for Public Education 8/21/2013; Feminist Newswire 8/15/2013
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .