Providing school choice to military families


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Heritage’s Director of Education Policy Lindsey Burke has created the Military Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) policy that would allow military families to choose education options that are the right fit for their children instead of having to attend the public schools nearest to base assigned to them.

This policy is being debating in Congress right now as the Education Savings Accounts for Military Children Act of 2018.

80 percent of children from military families currently attend public schools, but only 34 percent of those surveyed said they would choose public schools as their first option. Many military families leave the service for this reason, and ESA’s would be a method of retaining these servicemen.

This bill modernizes the Federal Impact Aid Program to have the same flexibility as the G.I. Bill. Specifically, Heritage is proposing Congress:

  • Direct the federal Impact Aid program, which provides additional funding to districts with a military population, to military-connected children themselves, instead of to public school districts.
  • Re-conceptualize the $1.3 billion Impact Aid program in a way that creates school choice for military families, empowering parents with the ability to choose what works for their children and ensuring that a service member’s decision to remain in the military does not hinge on outdated assignment-by-zip-code schooling policies.
  • Transition Impact Aid funding into parent-controlled education savings accounts (ESAs) to provide children of active-duty military families with education choice, while ensuring the federal program serves military families so that they can serve the nation.

What do you think is the best benefit of school choice?

Your impact in ending identity politics


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The Heritage Foundation is dismantling the culture of identity politics in Washington DC through the work of Heritage expert Mike Gonzalez.

Gonzalez has been working hard to stop the fracturing of the American people through identity politics–a method of dividing the country by race.

In a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Gonzalez stated:

Identity politics—the artificial segmentation of Americans into antagonistic groups organized along often imagined ethnic, racial and sexual categories—is tearing America apart. President Trump can do something about it.

The US Census Bureau recently attempted to add another racial disambiguation of MENA (Middle Eastern and North African) as an attempt to further divide the country. It was through the efforts of Gonzalez and Heritage that this attempt was not carried out.

Moving forward, Heritage plans to work with the Trump Administration to roll back and dismantle the current system that is in place. Mr. Gonzalez argues that if we are able to roll back the laws that racially separate us, that we will be able to take away the most powerful weapon that those who support identity politics have.

The Trump administration has responded very favorably to Heritage and our policies, giving Heritage a strong position to start, and there are many on both the left and the right that do not like the way these policies are dividing our country.


What do you think should be done to end identity politics?

Honoring their fight


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Last week we celebrated International Women’s Day.

As conservatives, we believe all should have the same freedom and opportunities regardless of race, religion, gender, etc.

With March designated as Women’s History month, it is important that we celebrate the contributions that women make to our society.

A majority of women are now responsible for household finances and health care decisions and women-owned businesses employ more than 8.4 million workers. So it is essential then to understand how key conservative federal policies such as taxes, education and health care affect women and their families.

For that reason, we hosted an event Thursday with four congresswomen titled “Empowering Women Through Conservative Policy”.

They joined us to discuss a more dynamic way to understand women’s issues and the intersection of public policy, free enterprise, and family life.

Watch the event below:

What do you believe is the biggest challenge to gender inequality?

Update: Solving the school safety issue


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Heritage is making real progress in developing solutions that make our schools safe.

This week, we launched a new site that is focused entirely on our new school safety initiative.

On this site–which will be updated regularly–you will find plans for a “Teach-In” event on March 21-22 that will precede the Left’s “March for our Lives” gun control rally on March 24.

Participants will learn more about the events of February 14 in Parkland, Florida, how they might have been prevented, and the real causes of school violence. We’ll take a deep dive into solutions—including hearing about programs that strengthen families and make schools safer.

Watch Heritage’s President Kay Coles James address this new initiative:

View the site >>

You will also find the latest research and stats surrounding this debate including:

Fact Sheet: Gun Violence >>

The Current Gun Debate: Mass Shootings >>


What do you think should be done about school safety?

US Secretary of Education supports Heritage education plan


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United States Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced at CPAC during an interview with Heritage President Kay Coles James that she supports Heritage’s plan that would allow military families to use federal funds as education savings accounts to pay for personalized schooling for their children.

The plan would allow over 126,000 military-connected families to use federal funds for the schooling of their choice.

Heritage education expert Lindsey Burke said:

In order to ensure that those who secure our nation are able to access education options that best serve them, policymakers should empower these families with education-choice options,” wrote Lindsey Burke, director of Heritage’s Education Policy Center, and former Heritage research assistant Anne Ryland in a report that is leading the way for lawmakers.

Thanks to your support, Heritage will continue to lead the way on education reform and allow parents to choose the best education option for their children.

Do you believe military families should have more school choices? What other education reforms do you think should be implemented?

Heritage alumni speaks out on gun control


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Last week, former Heritage alumni Bethany Mandel wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times titled, “I Wanted to be a Good Mom. So I Bought a Gun.”

In the feature, Ms. Mandel started by saying:

A few months after my father left our family home for good, my mother heard me screaming in the middle of the night. It was the kind of scream that made her grab her rifle in one hand and some ammo in another.

It was a spring night and I was sleeping with my window open, which was right above my bed; I loved breathing in the fresh air. That night, in that open window, I heard the banging of a ladder, and by the time my mother made it into the room and began loading her gun, a man was about to climb in.

She then goes on to talk about the reasons people own guns and why a ban on guns is not the answer to stop mass shootings.

Read her full story here >>

We are thankful for Ms. Mandel’s past service to Heritage and to her continued bravery in taking a stand for conservatives.

Do you agree with Ms. Mandel’s opinion on gun control? Why or why not?



American obesity and the future of our military


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The threats that America’s military face are numerous.

As a Heritage member, you enable one of the most talented groups of national security experts to research and address the critical issues facing our nation today.

Politico recently quoted Heritage’s Director of National Defense, General Tom Spoehr, in an article on how America’s growing obesity will have a direct impact on our military strength.

General Spoehr points out that chronic obesity is greatly diminishing the ability for people to join the military–even if they wanted to.

In the article, General Spoehr states:

“We all have this image in our mind of this hearty American citizen, scrappy, that can do anything,” said retired Army Lt. Gen. Tom Spoehr, co-author of a new Heritage Foundation paper on the military recruiting challenge titled The Looming National Security Crisis. “That image we keep in our heads is no longer accurate.”

“Obesity and the percentage of people overweight in the country has just skyrocketed in the last 10 to 15 years,” he added in an interview. “Asthma is going up. High school graduation rates are still just barely acceptable and in some big cities they are miserable. Criminality is also not going away. We have to face the reality that these things in some cases are getting worse, not better.”

Read why this growing obesity crisis is such a threat to our national security >>

Heritage also hosted an event last year titled, A looming national security crisis: young Americans unable to join the military, where current and former military officers discussed the impact obesity will have on our nation’s military.

You can watch the event below:

Do you agree with General Spoehr’s analysis? What do you think should be done about the obesity crisis? 

Keeping identity politics at bay


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The Census Bureau recently announced that it would not be making changes to the 2020 U.S. census recommended by former President Barack Obama’s administration.

“The Census Bureau will not use a combined question format for collecting race and ethnicity; or a separate ‘Middle Eastern or North African’ category on the census form,” the announcement noted.

Mike Gonzales, a senior fellow in Heritage’s Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, argues that these changes would negatively affect the country because it would further divide the country on ethnic lines.

He states that:

The proposals would affect the country adversely in at least three ways: (1) adding one more ethnic group would further divide America along ethnic lines, (2) creating a Hispanic “race” would deepen these fractures, and (3) dangling further economic benefits, including affirmative action and new congressional districts, would help perpetuate divisions within the country because it gives people an incentive to identify themselves with minority groups.

Instead, the 2018 End-to-End Census Test and 2020 census will continue to use two separate questions for collecting data on race and ethnicity, a move Heritage has advocated for.

Heritage continues to push against measures that would needlessly divide the Union.

Because of your support Heritage is able to push back against the scourge of identity politics that needlessly divides the country.

How do you feel about the current Census rules?

Vice President Pence appoints Heritage Expert to National Space Council


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Heritage experts continue to make a difference–both on and off Heritage’s headquarters.

Last week, Vice President Pence nominated Heritage national security expert Dean Cheng to serve on the National Space Council User Advisory Board.

Cheng, a senior research fellow in Heritage’s Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, specializes in Chinese military and foreign policy. He has written extensively on China’s military doctrine and the technological implications of its space program. He is also the only member on the Council to hail from a think tank.

Other members of the Council include dignitaries such as Buzz Aldrin, an Apollo 11 astronaut, Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House and Presidential Candidate and GP Bud Peterson, the President of Georgia Institute of Technology.

According to the White House announcement, “The selected members of the Users Advisory Group will serve to fulfill President Trump’s mandate to ‘foster close coordination, cooperation, and technology and information exchange’ across our nation’s space enterprise.”

We are thankful for Cheng and his willingness to serve in this capacity.

How important is it to have conservative voices in places like the National Space Council?

Bad budget bill passes


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Thanks to your support, Heritage is continuing to provide conservative solutions to limiting government and reining in runway spending.

And those solutions are needed more now than ever before.

Last week, Congress passed a budget deal that increases the federal government by 14%.

In a video that’s already received thousands of views, Heritage’s Genevieve Wood stated:

President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress were elected to drain the swamp, not add water.

But adding water, and lots of it, is exactly what happened with the passage of the most recent budget deal.

In fact, this bill asks for 70 percent more than President Barack Obama did while in office.

This was a budget deal that, as Genevieve Wood says in the video below, President Obama could have only dreamed of.

Heritage has provided a guide to promote comprehensive economic reform for our country–laying out a clear path forward for lawmakers.

That path includes:

  • Cutting spending immediately and enforcing spending caps
  • Pursue pro-growth tax reform
  • Reform the Entitlement programs
  • Reform the federal budget process
  • And move domestic programs to the State and local sector

Read the guide for a full explanation >>

Thank you for enabling Heritage to continue to act as “True North” in Washington.

What do you think it will take for lawmakers to pass a fiscally conservative budget?


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