More Than $1,000,000 Given to Mostly-Religious Voucher Schools in North Carolina, Despite Legal Limbo

Last year, North Carolina lawmakers earmarked $10,000,000 for vouchers, offering up to $4,200 of taxpayer money per-student-who-qualified to private schools.

Because many of those schools have discriminatory admission standards (70% of the voucher-accepting schools are religious), take money away from public schools, and don’t abide by state educational standards, Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood put a stop to the program earlier this year. After some legal back-and-forth, though, he just gave a green light for the first million dollars to be distributed:

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Texas District Responds to Church/State Violations at Elementary School by Shutting Down Its Facebook Page

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about the numerous church/state violations taking place at China Elementary in Texas’ Hardin-Jefferson Independent School District.

Just to offer some quick examples, the school’s Facebook page was full of mentions of the teacher-led “Hawks for Christ” group, not to mention pictures of teachers wearing club shirts — both of which are illegal:



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The Kapparot Problem

This Friday, as Yom Kippur begins, some orthodox Jewish people will practice a ritual called “Kapparot” (also spelled “Kaparot” or “Kaparos”) in which they’ll swing a live chicken around their heads three times in order to transfer their sins to it. Because that makes perfect sense. Afterwards, they’ll slaughter the chicken and supposedly donate it to the poor (though the chicken is often just disposed of).

I’m vegetarian, but what drew me to this issue wasn’t the slaughter (maybe I’m just immune to that by now)… it was that the swinging of the chickens around the head is arguably causing them pain. As this video suggests to those practicing the ritual, “You have been told that holding a chicken by its wings that way will make the bird calm and relaxed. This is not true! The bird is terrified…”

What makes this ritual particularly puzzling is that a chicken isn’t even required. You could easily just substitute a small bag of coins instead. So why not just do that? It makes no sense to me.

As it turns out, there’s a group working to end the use of chickens in this ritual, appropriately called the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos (which is part of a larger organization called United Poultry Concerns).

Karen Davis is the founder of the group and I asked her a number of questions about the ritual via email. Our edited exchange is below:

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This is How You Do “Common Core” Subtraction

Erick Erickson, the editor of the conservative website RedState, is furious because of the way his third grade daughter is being taught math. I mean, just look at how her “Common Core” textbook teaches subtraction:

Yes, that’s confusing when you look at it. I’ll admit that.

Erickson, who (I’m guessing) mechanically learned subtraction by putting the big number on top, the smaller number on bottom, and doing a little bit of “carrying,” is annoyed that his daughter isn’t learning math the same way he did:

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North Dakota School District Says Girls Who Wear Jeggings Are Just Like Prostitutes

The Devils Lake School District in North Dakota knows exactly how to get students to pay attention in class: The girls just need to stop wearing clothing that’ll distract the boys, even if they’re fully covered up.

According to Valley News Live, that means they “can’t wear leggings, jeggings and tight jeans.”

And just to hammer home that point…

The assistant principal said they had the girls watch two clips from the movie “Pretty Woman” and compared their attire to the main character… who is a prostitute.

I remember that movie. It’s the one where Richard Gere falls in love with Julia Roberts after seeing her in jeggings.

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