Tag Archives: Education

Ruling for Marriage Equality Ensures Epic Pride Month 2015

Earlier today, the Supreme Court issued a historic ruling in favor of marriage equality, which establishes marriage equality in all fifty states. As we celebrate this victory for equality and as LGBT Pride month comes to an end, here’s a look back at some of the LGBT milestones that occurred this month:

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Title IX Protest

Realizing the Promise of Title IX

Yesterday, we celebrated the 43rd anniversary of Title IX, a section of the Education Amendments of 1972 to the Civil Rights Act that prohibits sex-based discrimination in education programs and activities that receive federal funding. Widely known as the statute that governs varsity athletics, Title IX has helped advance women’s rights in collegiate sports, yes—but it has also laid the foundation to protect broader women’s rights to educational equality. The statue provides legal protections for student survivors of rape and sexual assault, a critical step in ensuring a safe and productive educational environment where students can learn and thrive. Read more…

Faith Organizations Urge Lawmakers to Take a Stand on LGBT Discrimination

Currently, federal law explicitly protects students from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, and disability. However, no federal law explicitly protects students from discrimination based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or their association with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The Student Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 846/S. 439) would address this issue by explicitly prohibiting public schools from discriminating against any student based on the categories above.

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Teen bundled in a blanket at school

Taking Congress to School: Funding American Indian Schools

As the school year starts to close across the country, one of the Department of Defense’s Crossroads Elementary in Virginia will use the summer to prep for its first full year of school. With features like geothermal heating and a rooftop garden, Crossroads is one of 134 schools being rebuilt as part of a 10-year, $5 billion plan through the Department of Defense. This state-of-the-art facility stands in marked contrast to many schools under the direction of the Bureau of Indian Education, which is also federally funded. Whereas the Department of Defense is receiving $5 billion over 10 years for construction projects, the Bureau of Indian Education received just 2% of that total, $39 million over four years, even though it operates almost the same number of schools. Read more…

House Hearing on Vouchers

No Lost Irony

On Thursday morning, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a “field” hearing on the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), or the D.C. school vouchers program at Archbishop Carroll High School, where a large percentage of the students receive these vouchers.

The Reform Movement has a long history of opposing voucher programs, not only because we believe in the importance of supporting and maintaining a robust, high-quality and high-performing public school system, but also because a large portion of voucher dollars got to parochial schools, compromising church-state separation.The irony of having the hearing at this location was not lost on those of us in attendance who work on this issue from a church-state separation perspective. Read more…

Girls in 1909 protesting slavery in Yiddish and English

The Modern Plagues of Inequality

On Passover, we remember the ten plagues that were put upon the Egyptian people. Thousands of years later, modern-day plagues of inequality should ignite contemporary responses to combat these injustices. Many of the most vulnerable members of our society are disproportionately affected; they cannot be “passed over” or ignored, especially during this important holiday. As we think about the ancient plagues, let us also keep in mind those who still live under the weight of modern plagues.

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Bill de Blasio posing with a sign that says "I love #EidinNYC"

NYC Mayor Adds Muslim Holidays to School Closings

After much anticipation, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all public schools in the five boroughs will now be closed for two Muslim holidays: Eid al-Adha, which marks the end of the Festival of the Sacrifice, and Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan at the end of the summer (this closing will happen during summer school).

Although the City Council had approved a resolution to add these holidays to the school calendars in 2009, Mayor de Blasio (who has been in office a little over a year) has finally implemented this change. Read more…

President Obama's budget documents

Encouraged by the President’s Budget – But What’s Next?

As people of faith, our Jewish values encourage us to advocate for systems that can lift people out of poverty. Jewish history also provides us with an example for helping the needy. During Talmudic times, much of tzedakah (justice) was done though tax-financed, community-run programs that helped those in needed, paralleling the social safety net that we continue to fight for today. Coming from the President, his proposed federal budget is a list of priorities for how funding should be spent in the year to come. Our budget is a moral document that can create the platform for addressing these and other injustices.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has estimated that the President’s budget would slightly reduce the debt as a share of GDP (gross domestic product) over the first ten years and would then stabilize it through 2040. This finding signifies how the budget President Obama has proposed is one that is responsible while also continuing to fund many important human needs programs. Read more…

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