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Education Reporter

Education Briefs 
More than 90% of NEA campaign spending goes to Democratic candidates and causes even though, according to outgoing president Reg Weaver, a third of members are Republicans and a third are independent. The California NEA affiliate donated at least $1.25 million to the campaign against Proposition 8, the initiative to protect traditional marriage in that state. Each California teacher pays $922 each year in CTA dues. 28 states require teachers to join the union. "If the unions are so beneficial, why do teachers need to be forced to join and to fork over such hefty dues in most states?" asked teacher Larry Sand. (Los Angeles Times, 10-18-08)

"Swing Semester 2008" offered students the chance to campaign for "progressive" causes in swing states, sometimes even for college credit. The group helped connect students with organizations including NARAL Pro-Choice and ACORN, as well as individual candidates' campaigns. On its website, Swing Semester promised to help students to earn three to nine college credit hours for their activism in key cities such as Denver, Cincinnati, and Virginia Beach. (www.swingsemester.com)

The Supreme Court declined to hear the parents' appeal of the famous Lexington, MA case on teaching children about homosexuality in school. In 2005, David and Tonia Parker objected to their local school's teaching their kindergartner about homosexuality and same-sex marriage. (Education Reporter, July 2005, June 2006, April 2007) The Parkers and another family, the Wirthlins, sued the district, arguing that parental rights "preclude a public school from egregiously usurping the parental role in religious and moral matters of the utmost importance." The Supreme Court's decision not to hear the appeal does not indicate a ruling on the case's merits, but it is the end of the Parkers' and Wirthlins' long battle. Meanwhile, David Parker has become a powerful parents' rights advocate, speaking to audiences of thousands — and both the Parkers and the Wirthlins have removed their children from public school.

November 2008 Education Reporter
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Education Reporter is published monthly by Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund with editorial offices at 7800 Bonhomme Ave., St. Louis, MO 63105, (314) 721-1213. The views expressed in this newsletter are those of the persons quoted and should not be attributed to Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund. Annual subscription $25. Back issues available at $2.
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