Three weeks ago, Heritage education expert Lindsey Burke testified before the Tennessee legislature about the benefits of education savings accounts.

And in a major victory for school choice, the state legislature passed a bill this week to create ESAs for students with special needs. The bill is now on its way to the desk of Gov. Bill Haslam.

ESAs allow parents to direct their child’s portion of education spending towards education options that meet their child’s needs. “They separate the financing of education from the delivery of services and empower families to choose which provider works best for their children,” Burke writes in The Daily Signal.

Twenty-two state legislatures are considering ESAs for the 2015 school year.

Do you think education dollars should follow the student, as ESAs allow? 

The FCC’s net neutrality regulations, which impose onerous new rules on internet service providers in the name of “fairness,” are headed back to the courts. The FCC has twice been rebuked when it has unilaterally claimed this regulatory power, which would tend to stifle innovation. This time, the FCC wants to regulate ISPs as “common carriers,” the same sorts of rules that apply to water companies.

Heritage regulatory expert James Gattuso explains how Internet providers are fighting back:

Will the plaintiffs win in court a third time? The FCC says no, pointing to the fact that, by reclassifying ISPs as common carriers, it has fixed its earlier problem. But the ISPs will argue that the FCC’s decision to reclassify them as common, or telecommunications carriers was arbitrary — a political decision aimed at expanding the agencies’ own power rather than a reasoned decision based on the statutory definition of the term “telecommunications carrier.”

“The current law’s opaque and ambiguous terminology reduces predictability and accountability in the online communications system,” Gattuso writes. And that’s a big problem.

Do you think the federal government should micromanage the service you get from internet providers?

Photo Credit: The Daily Signal

Heritage economist James Sherk testified before front of the Nevada Assembly earlier this month on making collective bargaining optional for all government employees. In his testimony, Sherk argues that unions for government employees are bad policy, because unlike private sector unions they:

  1. Undermine representative government: “Collective bargaining in government takes away the final say on public policy from voters’ elected representatives. It forces them to negotiate a contract with union leaders, excluding all other citizens and potential workers from the bargaining table.”
  2. Come with no checks and balances: Private sector unions have competition with non-unionized businesses, but government employee unions do not: “Residents of Reno, Nevada, cannot receive police protection from Carson City or educate their children in Clark County Public Schools. Moreover mandatory taxes fund government operations.”
  3. Inflate pay for their workers: “Collective bargaining has considerably inflated the compensation of Nevada’s local government employees. It has produced benefit packages that few private-sector workers ever see. In many local governments, employees pay nothing toward the cost of their extensive health insurance benefits.”

Follow this link to see the rest of Sherk’s testimony.

Do you think Nevada should make unions optional for its government employees?

Jim DeMint speaks to Heritage members in Dallas on Monday at the inaugural Reclaim America event.

Jim DeMint speaks to Heritage members in Dallas on Monday.

Roughly 800 Heritage members joined Heritage President Jim DeMint and Heritage Action CEO Mike Needham in Dallas on Monday to launch Reclaim America.

Reclaim America is Heritage’s ambitious plan — unlike anything ever before attempted by a policy organization — to restore conservative principles. Its success relies on Heritage’s conservative policy expertise, our ability to take our message to the American people, our leadership and strategic location, and Heritage Action’s grassroots activism to hold lawmakers accountable to conservative ideas.

Learn more about Reclaim America and how you can get involved >>

The Reclaim America tour visits Houston tomorrow. Find a Reclaim America in your area >>

On the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln’s assassination, pundits on the Left like MSNBC’s Chris Matthews have rushed to claim the President for their own ideology. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, pundit William McGurn cites a study published by Heritage to argue that Lincoln was far from a modern left-wing progressive:

Fellow Lincoln scholar Allen Guelzo likewise emphasizes Lincoln’s emphasis on upward mobility. His roots, after all, were in the pro-business Whig Party, and he favored government involvement only to the extent it did what the people needed to have done but could not do themselves.

In a paper still available online at the Heritage Foundation, Mr. Guelzo takes on the Lincoln chestnuts one by one, e.g. that he bequeathed America a huge centralized government—in fact, the federal government shrank back to prewar levels in the years after the war. That he promoted federal activism through programs such as the Homestead Act—Mr. Guelzo prefers to call it “the greatest privatization scheme in history.” That Lincoln was an authoritarian—the narrow limits of the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves only in states in rebellion, shows Lincoln’s reluctance to exert powers he did not have. And so on.

Be sure to read Guelzo’s full Heritage article, which concludes, “Lincoln is not, and nor was his Administration, any model for what today seems so objectionable in the modern welfare state.”

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