Thousands of Students Could Lose Free School Meals if SNAP Changes


A Trump administration plan to tighten eligibility requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program could have a secondary effect: hundreds of thousands of children losing automatic eligibility for free school lunches, child hunger groups warn.

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Michigan Catholic Church wants to undermine women’s reproductive rights

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

Those who are pushing for legislation that will further erode reproductive rights are gearing up for a big petition drive.

The Catholic Church in Michigan will be providing opportunities for parishioners to sign petitions in support of what they refer to as “partial-birth abortion and dismemberment abortion ban act.” This legislation is HB 4320, which you can read at this link

The Michigan Catholic Church will provide their members with an opportunity to sign the petition this coming weekend, July 27 – 28, and again on August 10 – 11. Here is a letter sent by the Catholic Bishop from the Diocese of Grand Rapids, a letter that appeared in church bulletins recently, throughout the diocese. 

In addition to the letter from the Bishop, there was information about the petition and what the Michigan Catholic Conference’s (MCC) position is on this issue – shown here below.


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Eulogy for a White Supremacist in Michigan: MLive downplays the role that John Tanton played in nurturing the current anti-Immigrant and White Supremacist climate in the US

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

On Thursday, July 18, MLive ran an article about the death of John Tanton. The MLive article acknowledges that Tanton was the founder of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and was referred to in the article as an anti-immigration activist. 

The article also mentions that Tanton, “also held leadership positions as president of Zero Population Growth, chairman of the Sierra Club’s National Population Committee, founder of Northern Michigan Planned Parenthood Association and has been active in Negative Population Growth, Inc.”

However, the short article focuses on Tanton’s views about immigration and even provides a link to an essay he wrote in 1975. The article cites the current president of FAIR and an immigration lawyer, to fulfill the “balanced coverage” aspect of the article. However, the MLive story barely scratches the surface in terms of where Tanton stood on immigration policy nor the deeply white supremacist views he…

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Laura Chapman on the Center for American Progress Plan to Return to the Bush-Obama Agenda

Diane Ravitch's blog

Laura Chapman has been doing research on the Center for American Progress, which the media views as the voice of the Democratic Party. This may be the most depressing thing you read today. It calls for a return to the principles of No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. Both failed. CAP wants to resuscitate the worst features of both. Maybe CAP can persuade Arne Duncan to return as Secretary of Education. Then the disaster would be complete.

And here we go with the new progressive agenda for schools.

Almost every week Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress (CAP) appears on television to opine about the presidential elections. Tanden is a former aide to Hillary Clinton. CAP is supposed to function as a think tank for Progressives, especially Democrats. On July 2, 2019, CAP published: A Quality Education for Every Child: A New Agenda for…

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Force and Flunk, Tougher Kindergarten Lead to Parental Dissatisfaction with Public Schools

Force and Flunk, Tougher Kindergarten Lead to Parental Dissatisfaction with Public Schools

by Nancy Bailey

When children aren’t reading according to the corporate time frame set by Jeb Bush and his ilk (non-educators who want to privatize public education), parents become dissatisfied, even angry with public school officials and teachers when their children fail. The goal of many corporations is to end public education. They want privatization. To do this, […]

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via Force and Flunk, Tougher Kindergarten Lead to Parental Dissatisfaction with Public Schools

Reforming California’s Dysfunctional Charter School Law


By T. Ultican 7/17/2019

Members of the California legislature have engaged in an internecine battle over charter schools. Even the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) has expressed concern over lawless cyber charters and filed the first known complaint with the California Department of Education over A3 Education and Valiant Prep which were recently charged with stealing a stunning $50 million. California State Sen. John Moorlach (R) is warning that 85% of school districts in California are running deficits. Governor Gavin Newsom has statedrising charter school enrollments in some urban districts are having real impacts on those districts’ ability to provide essential support and services for their students.”

The drive to privatize schools in Oakland, San Diego and Los Angeles has been fueled by enormous sums of money spent on elections. Billionaires led by Eli Broad and Richard Riordan have successfully installed a former investment banker – a…

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America is Dead by John Pavlovitz

America is dead. Not the America that I idealized as a boy; not the glittering beacon of equality I imagined it to be through the vaseline-covered lenses of my maleness and straightness and whiteness; not the star-spangled stuff of towering billboards, celluloid dreams, and black and white movie reels—promising every human being open-armed welcome and […]

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Source: America is Dead

3rd Congressional candidate Lynn Afendoulis tours US Border Detention facilities, praises law enforcement officials who feel hurt by criticisms over treatment of detainees

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

US Congressional candidate, Lynn Afendoulis, who is running for the 3rd Congressional District, just came back from touring some of the US detention facilities in Texas, near the US/Mexican Border.

Afendoulis, who is currently serving as a State Representative in Michigan, had several posts on her Lynn Afendoulis for Congress Facebook page. One post has her in a picture in front of one of the detention facilities with two unidentified men. Here is what Afendoulis wrote, with the accompanying photo:

I’m touring intake and detention facilities in El Paso, Texas today. No one drinks from toilets. That’s not even close to the truth and is a cruel representation of the work being done here by good, hardworking people. Shame on politicians who use these circumstances for their own political gain.

These comments are meant to contradict the well documented horrid conditions at border detention facilities and to criticize politicians like…

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Ohio Budget Sets Moratorium on New State Takeovers of School Districts, Fails to Resolve Lorain Crisis


State budgets outline what sort of public investment is possible within the revenue constraints of any state government. They also outline the spending priorities of the majority.  Sometimes, despite laws that prohibit logrolling, they also contain a lot of stuff that has nothing to do with fiscal matters.

Ohio’s new biennial budget reflects a priority for tax cutting.  Ohio’s legislators—despite the 17 day extension required because even the huge Republican majorities in both chambers couldn’t agree on a lot of things—reached consensus that taxes should be further reduced instead of investing in services needed by the must vulnerable Ohioans.  For example, the Legislature did not raise basic formula funding for 3 school districts already designated in Academic Distress or for the ten additional public school districts teetering on the edge of that categorization.

The Ohio budget conference committee, mercifully, did not insert into the state budget the Senate Education Committee’s…

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DeVos Political Operative Greg McNeilly is also promoting the West Michigan Policy Forum’s scheme for road funding by using teacher pension funds

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

Last week, we posted an article about a proposal from the West Michigan Policy Forum to borrow money from the Michigan Teachers Pension Fund and use it to pay for the roads throughout the state. 

We stated the following:

First, in 2016, the West Michigan Policy Forum was backing legislation that would remove the decades-long contractual agreement between the State of Michigan and the teacher union to remove the state as the primary source to pay teacher pensions and transfer that responsibility to the market.  That legislation was adopted, which means the traditional pensions have been eliminated in terms of how they get paid and are replaced with 401k-type plans leaving the teacher pensions in the hands of the speculative capital market. At the time, the Michigan Education Association stated that, “This is a nation-wide attack, led by Enron billionaire Tom Arnold, whose Arnold Foundation is flooding right wing think tanks…

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