The School Choice Juggernaut Marches On



Incredible as it may seem, less than one year ago, not a single state offered universal school choice to its citizens. That was then, this is now. Today, four states (Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, and Utah) have universal school choice laws on the books, with several more considering bills that would vastly expand education freedom.

Although there are many factors that have led to the school choice movement gaining more momentum than ever before, one should not discount the behavior of public school leaders and teacher union officials during the pandemic in moving public opinion decidedly in favor of school choice.

According to recent polling, school choice is more popular than ever before. And, more significantly, school choice is one of the rare issues that receives widespread support from Democrats, Republicans, and Independents as well as across racial, socioeconomic, and even generational lines.

This month marks the three-year anniversary of the widespread shutdown of public schools throughout the country, under the guise of the pandemic. Of course, as most Americans witnessed with bewilderment, while most public schools refused to offer in-person learning throughout the duration of the pandemic, the overwhelming majority of private and charter schools remained open for in-person learning over the same period.

On top of this, as government-run schools refused to offer in-person learning and opted for inferior remote learning, droves of parents were absolutely shocked at the radical curriculum that the public schools were pushing on their children. From critical race theory to explicit sexual content, parents finally got a first-hand account of what public schools are up to these days.

Moreover, as the months went by and the public schools kept moving the reopening goalposts, parents became infuriated that their children were falling behind academically as well as becoming increasingly isolated, depressed, and dysfunctional after months of being stuck at home in front of a screen for eight hours per day.

Needless to say, most parents were at their wits end with the education industrial complex, which exists to serve adults, specifically teacher unions and public education bureaucrats, not students.

So, as would be expected, a major exodus from public schools began. While parents were pulling their children from failing public schools, they chose to enroll their kids in private, parochial, and charter schools. This trend was exacerbated when public schools refused to drop mask mandates and required vaccinations, even though the evidence showed that both of these policies were misguided at best and downright harmful to most children.

Yet, even as the writing was on the wall, public school officials and their partners in crime ignored the pleas by parents to address, or at least consider, their valid concerns. In fact, for the most part, these unaccountable bureaucrats doubled down on their position, berating parents for having the audacity to question their omnipotence over the education system.

In one classic example, Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe said during a debate, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

Glenn Youngkin, McAuliffe’s opponent, took the inverse position, saying, “What we’ve seen over the course of this last 20 months is our school systems refusing to engage with parents. In fact, in Fairfax County this past week, we watched parents so upset because there was such sexually explicit material in the library they had never seen, it was shocking. And in fact, you vetoed the bill that would have informed parents that they were there. You believe school systems should tell children what to do. I believe parents should be in charge of their kids’ education.”

In many ways, this was a tipping point. The eyes of the nation were cast on Virginia in 2021 because it became ground zero in the battle for parental rights and school choice, in general.

Fortunately, Youngkin defeated McAuliffe in a landslide. However, this race was a microcosm for the bitter battles that were to follow. After Youngkin’s unexpected victory, more and more Republican governors began to embrace school choice. On the other hand, more and more Democratic governors began to take the opposite stance and became full-fledged enemies of the increasingly popular school choice renaissance.

And so, this is where things stand today. Among the general population, school choice is a commonsense policy that places parents, not education bureaucrats, in charge of their children’s education. As we continue to see, education choice is being embraced in red states, which are offering parents education savings accounts so that they can choose whichever school their child should attend. Yet, most blue states remain obstinate, reluctant to heed the wishes of the parents who prodigiously advocate for more school choice.

Eventually, I expect that freedom will win the day. It will likely be a long, drawn-out fight, but if the current trend continues, the left’s monopoly on education could be on the verge of extinction sooner rather than later.


By The Heartland Institute

Source: The School Choice Juggernaut Marches On – RedState

Our Daily Bread — Permission to Rest

Bible in a Year:

God had finished the work . . . so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.

Genesis 2:2

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Genesis 1:31–2:2

We sat atop some beach boulders, my friend Soozi and I, watching the foam send up sea spray in arched curls. Looking at the incoming waves crashing one after another against the rocks, Soozi announced, “I love the ocean. It keeps moving so I don’t have to!”

Isn’t it interesting how some of us feel we need “permission” to pause from our work to rest? Well, that’s just what our good God offers us! For six days, God spun the earth into existence, creating light, land, vegetation, animals, and humans. Then on the seventh day, He rested (Genesis 1:31–2:2). In the Ten Commandments, God listed His rules for healthy living to honor Him (Exodus 20:3–17), including the command to remember the Sabbath as a day of rest (vv. 8–11). In the New Testament, we see Jesus healing all the sick of the town (Mark 1:29–34) and then early the next morning retreating to a solitary place to pray (v. 35). Purposefully, our God both worked and rested.

The rhythm of God’s provision in work and His invitation to rest reverberates around us. Spring’s planting yields growth in summer, harvest in autumn, and rest in winter. Morning, noon, afternoon, evening, night. God orders our lives for both work and rest, offering us permission to do both.

By:  Elisa Morgan

Reflect & Pray

How would you assess the balance in your life between work and rest? When and how might you pause each day to reflect on God’s example of rhythm and rest?

Dear God, thank You that You made me to follow after Your heart, to both work and rest for Your glory and my good.

Grace to You; John MacArthur – Praying with Commitment

“Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).

Your prayers make a difference!

Matthew 6:10 literally says, “Whatever you wish to have happen, let it happen immediately. As your will is done in heaven, so let it be done on earth.” That’s a prayer of active commitment to God’s will.

Many people don’t pray like that because they don’t understand God’s character. They think their prayers don’t matter and that God will impose His will on them no matter what they do. They tend to pray with passive resignation, indifference, or resentment.

I remember praying such a prayer. After my freshman year in college, I was in a serious auto accident. The driver lost control of the car at about seventy-five miles per hour and it rolled several times before coming to a stop. I was thrown clear of the vehicle and ended up sliding down the highway on my backside for about 100 yards. I lost a lot of skin and had some third-degree burns and other injuries, but fortunately I didn’t break any bones.

I was conscious during the entire ordeal and vividly remember thinking, All right God. If you’re going to fight this way, I give up! I can’t handle this! I knew God was calling me into the ministry, but I was focusing my life in another direction.

I think God used that experience to get my attention, and my prayer of passive resignation soon turned to active commitment as He refined my heart and drew me to Himself.

Perhaps God has dealt severely with you, too. If so, it’s only because He loves you and wants to produce the fruit of righteousness in you (Heb. 12:11). Don’t despise His chastening, and don’t be fatalistic or resentful in your prayers. Godly prayers make a difference (James 5:16), so commit yourself to praying expectantly, knowing that God is gracious and wise and always responds for His glory and your highest good (Rom. 8:28).

Suggestions for Prayer

If you tend to pray with indifference, passive resignation, or resentment, ask God’s forgiveness. Study His character and cultivate deep communion with Him through disciplined, trusting prayer.

For Further Study

Read Luke 18:1-8.

  • Why did Jesus tell this parable?
  • What principles do you see that apply to your life?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur

Joyce Meyer – God Sees You

For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.

— Hebrews 6:10 (ESV)

When we are working hard and serving God, we may often feel that no one really appreciates our labor and sacrifices, but God sees us and knows everything we do. He appreciates our labor for Him, and He rewards us in due time.

The apostle Paul encourages us not to “become weary in doing good,” because in due time, “we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (see Galatians 6:9). I’m sure Paul experienced the same feelings of weariness that we feel at times, but he pressed on. His goal was to finish what God had given him to do, and that should be our aim also.

When you feel like giving up, just remember what Jesus went through so you could be forgiven for your sins and live with Him forever. Any difficulty you face is minor compared to what He endured. Any good thing you do for others is counted as something you have done for Jesus. Keep that in mind, and your work for Him will energize you and give you peace and joy.

Prayer of the Day: Father, thank You for allowing me to serve You by serving others. Help me to always appreciate each opportunity and to find joy in my labor. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Patterns for Our Giving

Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.

1 Corinthians 16:1-2

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul spends most of his time soaring among the glories of the resurrection and then ends with the wonderful reminder that our labor in the Lord is not in vain. What would you expect to come next? What would you predict would be a practical application of the resurrection’s life-changing reality?

I imagine your answers would not include “financial stewardship.” And yet this is precisely where Paul takes his readers: “Now concerning the collection for the saints…” Our financial stewardship is not, it turns out, an “unspiritual” part of life, disconnected from things that really matter. Rather, stewardship is an aspect of the work we do in the name of our risen Lord on this side of our own resurrection.

While Paul’s instructions here were given specifically for a collection for the believers in Jerusalem, they are instructive for us in our own contexts. There are three principles that he lays out, and each should shape our own giving.

First, Paul wants giving to be regular and deliberate: “On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper.” This was to take place on the first day of every week. For many of us, regular giving keeps us disciplined and prevents us from waiting until we “feel like” giving. Whether it’s weekly, monthly, or at other set times, regular giving is Paul’s wise instruction.

Second, giving should be proportionate. Funds were to be set aside by each person “as he may prosper”—or, as the NIV puts it, “in keeping with your income.” That leaves the details very much with the individual. God is the one with whom we need to deal, because He’s the one who searches our hearts, and He knows whether our giving is in keeping with what He has given into our care.

Third, we are to give to our family of faith first and foremost. The collection to which Paul refers is being made in churches and for churches. Where we are spiritually fed is where we contribute first (1 Timothy 5:17-18). The local church and then the wider church are not necessarily the only places that should receive our giving, but they are the primary places.

Your task now is to consider whether your own giving patterns need to be changed according to these principles. Ultimately, this is a personal matter, but it is also a profoundly spiritual matter, flowing out of our love and devotion to our Lord Jesus Christ, who has risen, is reigning, and shall return. Be assured, therefore, that as you strive for faithfulness in your giving, that striving will not be in vain.

Questions for Thought

How is God calling me to think differently?

How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?

What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?

Further Reading

Philippians 4:10-19

Topics: Giving Money Stewardship

Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg,

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Wants Your Whole Heart

“With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.” (Psalm 119:10)

If you were participating in a Bible trivia game and were asked to name the first three kings of Israel, you would probably have no trouble jumping up and shouting out “Saul, David, and Solomon!” You have heard the stories of how Saul became king while looking for his father’s donkeys (1 Samuel 9), how David killed Goliath with his slingshot (1 Samuel 17), and how Solomon asked God for wisdom instead of riches (2 Chronicles 1). But have you ever thought about what kind of heart each of these three kings had for their God? Did they follow God with their whole hearts, just parts of their hearts, or none of their hearts?

King David had a whole heart for God. The Bible describes him as a man “who followed [God] with all his heart,” (1 Kings 14:8). You can open your Bible to the book of Psalms and read many of King David’s prayers to the Lord. David had a desire to follow God with everything that he had.

King Solomon had half a heart for God. He started out wanting to serve God with all his heart, but as he grew older, he became distracted by the world. When comparing King Solomon with his father, King David, 1 Kings 11:4 says, “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.” King Solomon got sidetracked from following God. He lost his focus on God and wandered away from God’s commandments.

King Saul had no heart for God. God chose Saul to be the first king of Israel. But King Saul rejected the Lord, and the Lord rejected him. 1 Samuel 15:26, “And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.”

God wants you to seek Him and follow after Him with your whole heart! You must choose what kind of heart you are going to have for God. Will you be like King David, with a whole heart for God? Or will you be like King Saul and King Solomon, who both failed to follow God with their whole hearts?

The God of the Bible wants you to seek Him and follow after Him with your whole heart!

My Response:
» Does God want just part of my attention, or just some of my obedience?
» What kind of heart do I have for God?
» How can I change to have a whole heart for God?

Denison Forum – Why is the Greg Laurie movie “Jesus Revolution” so popular?

Jesus Revolution, a movie about a spiritual awakening in California in the early 1970s, is nearing $46 million in box office ticket sales as of this morning. In so doing, it has matched or surpassed The Fabelmans, The Banshees of Inisherin, Tár, Women Talking, and Triangle of Sadness, combined. (For more on Jesus Revolution, see our review, as well as our interview with director Jon Erwin in The Denison Forum Podcast.)

Why is the movie striking such a chord with so many millions of people?

Rev. Greg Laurie, a California pastor and central figure in the movie, writes: “We were created to worship. And when you get down to it, every person on Earth does worship. We don’t all worship the God of heaven, but we all worship someone or something. It may be a sports figure, an entertainer, or someone else. It may be a possession. But everyone bows at some kind of altar.”

The pastor continues: “Even atheists worship. Skeptics worship. Republicans and Democrats worship. Independents worship. Everyone, everywhere, worships. It’s the fundamental drive of life and one of the unique distinctions of humanity.”

This is because, as Rev. Laurie notes, “God has placed eternity in the human heart (see Ecclesiastes 3:11).”

Every person you know is looking for God in some way. Every person, whatever their public or private stance on faith and religion, is made by God for God. This is a fact beyond their control. It is a reality St. Augustine famously voiced sixteen centuries ago: “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you” (Confessions 1.1.1).

As a result, no matter how dark the days seem to be, you and I should have an “abundance mentality” that expects the King of the universe to use us in making a transforming difference in our lost world. As we will see today, it is always too soon to give up on God.

“No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars”

Evidence that biblical morality is best for us continues to grow. For example, the Wall Street Journal headlines, “For Long-Term Health and Happiness, Marriage Still Matters.” By contrast, studies have clearly linked premarital sex to divorce.

While our secularized culture conflates success with happiness, another Wall Street Journal article reports the opposite: “We’re all sprinting on what psychologists call a hedonic treadmill. That is, we might get a hit of joy when we achieve something, but we eventually return to our baseline level of happiness (or unhappiness). Whatever heights we reach, we’re still, well, us.”

This is because we are fallen people living in a fallen world.

The annual “Stress in America Survey” reports that stress is “rising rapidly” as a result of escalating inflation, concerns about possible Russian cyberattacks or nuclear threats, fears that a World War III could break out, and worries about money and the economy. Unsurprisingly, 90 percent of US adults say the United States is experiencing a mental health crisis.

The depressing news cycle exacerbates our angst. Bad news generates more interest than good news, contributing to a “negativity bias” that conditions us to pessimism about the world around us. As the axiom goes, “A pessimist is never disappointed.”

However, as Helen Keller noted, “No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.” Winston Churchill added, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

Who was the first named disciple of Jesus?

If I asked you to name the first named disciple of Jesus, whom would you nominate? Peter, the preacher of Pentecost? John, the “beloved disciple”? James, or Matthew, or Thomas? The answer is Andrew (John 1:40; John is the other disciple in the narrative, but he does not name himself).

As soon as he began following Jesus, what did Andrew do? “He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus” (vv. 41–42), thereby becoming the first evangelist in Christian history. Andrew later brought some Greek inquirers to Jesus (John 12:20–22), thereby becoming the first cross-cultural missionary in Christian history. He went on to plant churches across modern-day Ukraine, Romania, and Russia, making him the patron saint of all three nations and the 140 million Christians who are his spiritual descendants.

Andrew was ultimately crucified for his Lord. However, according to reliable early tradition, he testified that he was not worthy to die in the same manner as did his Lord, so he was crucified on an X-shaped cross that is known today as “St. Andrew’s Cross.”

But there was a time when Andrew was not so heroic. When five thousand families were following Jesus, he asked his disciples, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” (John 6:5). Andrew responded: “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” (John 6:9). Jesus then turned that small boy’s tiny lunch into a feast for the multitude.

“What are they for so many?”

Andrew’s question is our question. We read of rising animosity against our Father and our faith, then we look at our capacities and ask, “What are they for so many?” We look at the spiritual, financial, and material needs of our day, then turn to our resources and ask the same question.

In response, consider the counsel of Pope St. Leo the Great (died AD 461): “Do not be put off by a lack of resources. A generous spirit is itself of great wealth, and there can be no shortage of material for generosity where it is Christ who feeds and Christ who is fed. His hand is present in all this activity: his hand, which multiplies the bread by breaking it and increases it by giving it away.”

Will you put your “lunch” in his hands today?

Denison Forum

Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Future Possibilities

For with God nothing will be impossible.
Luke 1:37

 Recommended Reading: Matthew 8:1-4

Imagine trying to explain to Thomas Jefferson and John Adams how instead of all the Constitutional Convention delegates traveling to Philadelphia for deliberations in 1787 they could connect by video chat over computers, tablets, or smartphones. “Why, that’s impossible!” they likely would have said. It’s amazing how many ways time has turned “impossible” into “possible.”

As many “miracles” as mankind has accomplished, not all things are possible where man is concerned. But where God is concerned, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27). That’s what the angel Gabriel told Mary about the possibility of a virgin giving birth to a child: “For with God nothing will be impossible.” Notice the future orientation of those words: “will be.” Every time we think of something that is impossible, it’s a future event—and God knows the future.

If you are looking at a future event that seems impossible today, tell God your need. What looks impossible to man looks possible to God. His combination of love and power means nothing is impossible for Him where His children are concerned.

It is impossible for that man to despair who remembers that his Helper is omnipotent. 
Jeremy Taylor

Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – Dearly Loved

God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 

—Ephesians 1:5


Ephesians 1:5 

When John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River, a voice came from Heaven saying, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy” (Matthew 3:17 NLT).

Then we read in Ephesians 1 that “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure” (verse 5 NLT).

The next verse continues, “So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son” (verse 6 nlt). Or, as the New King James Version renders it, “To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”

This means that as Christians, God loves us as much as He loves His own dear Son. Here’s what Jesus said to the Father: “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me” (John 17:22–23 NLT).

Before knowing Jesus Christ, we were without hope. But through Jesus, God has adopted us as His own beloved children. And now we are precious and dear to Him.

Yet God doesn’t love us because we are lovable. Rather, God loves us because we are in Christ. We have been made “accepted in the Beloved.” God loves us unconditionally, has accepted us, and has given us all that we need to effectively live the Christian life.

And because we have this special relationship with God, it should impact us in the way that we live.