Decaf: Episode 222
The Beacon Center of Tennessee
by Taylor Dawson
2w ago
Mark and Taylor are BACK with hot takes on the WNBA, reality TV, national media, and more. Plus, we have a deep dive on the April Beacon Poll. Listen now ..read more
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The ESSER Fiscal Cliff: Expiring Federal Relief for Schools and Potential Tax Increases
The Beacon Center of Tennessee
by Taylor Dawson
3w ago
In the coming months, county commissioners will be taking up school board budgets. These discussions and votes are an annual occurrence, though this year’s discussion may have a different tone than years past. Billions of federal relief dollars are set to expire in September 2024 coupled with the state witnessing declining enrollments and increased staff, there will be a decision to rightsize budgets or potential tax increases to replace relief funding. The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds have to be spent or obligated this fall, and with the pandemic behind us an ..read more
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Net Neutrality: A Costly Solution in Search of a Problem
The Beacon Center of Tennessee
by Taylor Dawson
3w ago
Remember how the internet slowed down and became unusable seven years ago? If this doesn’t match your recollection that’s because it never happened. When Net Neutrality regulations were rolled back seven years ago in 2017, having only been in place for two years, dire warnings abounded. CNN declared the vote meant “the end of the internet as we know it.” Sen. Bernie Sanders said, “This is the end of the internet as we know it.” Other members of Congress and other media outlets had similar doomsday statements. None of the predictions came true. The internet has thrived and in the United States ..read more
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It’s Time for Tennessee: Double-Digit States Offer Universal Education Freedom
The Beacon Center of Tennessee
by Taylor Dawson
1M ago
Following a landmark year for education freedom, the first few months of 2024 saw dozens of school choice programs introduced, debated, and voted on across the country. Despite Tennessee not joining the growing list of states to get a universal program passed this year, other states went all-in on education freedom. Alabama became the 11th state to pass a universal school choice program, providing every student with new educational opportunities. Georgia and Wyoming passed Education Savings Account (ESA) programs, Missouri expanded its ESA, and Nebraska passed its first school choice program ..read more
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Beacon Files Supreme Court Brief to Defend Equality Under the Law
The Beacon Center of Tennessee
by Taylor Dawson
1M ago
Racial discrimination is morally wrong and a barrier to opportunity. Today, Beacon filed a brief urging the United States Supreme Court to strike a blow for equality under the law.  Boston Parent Coalition v. School Committee for the City of Boston involves yet another push for “equity” in schools. For decades, admission to Boston’s top public schools was based off performance: students with the top GPA and test scores got in. Yet the Boston school board didn’t like the racial composition of the schools, and directed a working group to craft an admissions plan that would reduce the number ..read more
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Music City: No Home for Music—An Excerpt from “Modern Davids”
The Beacon Center of Tennessee
by Taylor Dawson
1M ago
In celebration of Beacon’s 20th Anniversary, Beacon President and CEO Justin Owen wrote a book called Modern Davids: Celebrating 20 Years with 20 Stories of Everyday Tennesseans Fighting Big Government. We will be sharing an excerpt from the book each month to tell you more about our heroes. The book is out now! You can secure your copy by clicking here. Who would have thought it would be illegal to make music at home in Nashville? That’s right, the city’s longstanding restrictions on home-based businesses means that local musicians could not record music inside a home. Hairstyl ..read more
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So Long, Legislature
The Beacon Center of Tennessee
by Taylor Dawson
1M ago
The Legislature adjourned sine die last week, signaling the end of the 113th General Assembly.  I’ve seen the legislative session described as everything from a complete disaster to a success. For Beacon, the results are a mixed bag. While there are always disappointing results in politics, I’m reminded of Dumbledore saying, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” Education From Beacon’s perspective, I have to start by saying that we are incredibly disappointed that the House and Senate could not come together on policy to give s ..read more
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Government is Twisted—An Excerpt from “Modern Davids”
The Beacon Center of Tennessee
by Taylor Dawson
2M ago
In celebration of Beacon’s 20th Anniversary, Beacon President and CEO Justin Owen wrote a book called Modern Davids: Celebrating 20 Years with 20 Stories of Everyday Tennesseans Fighting Big Government. We will be sharing an excerpt from the book each month to tell you more about our heroes. The book is out now! You can secure your copy by clicking here. Those familiar with Beacon know that we have long exposed the harm that can be done by occupational licensing red tape. Despite being known for its pro-business environment, Tennessee has some of the most onerous licensing regul ..read more
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The Boom of Vocational Programs Across the Country—and in Tennessee
The Beacon Center of Tennessee
by Taylor Dawson
2M ago
“America needs more plumbers, and Gen Z is answering the call.” That is how a recent Wall Street Journal article opens, and the data backs it up. With the average student loan debt hovering around $40,000, Gen Z is questioning the return on investment for a college degree. Because of the high debt and long-term commitments coupled with many employers dropping the requirement of a four-year degree, many new workers are looking towards alternative higher education options, especially in-demand fields that meet some of the most pressing needs of American industry. Community college and university ..read more
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Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Property Rights
The Beacon Center of Tennessee
by mark
2M ago
According to a Beacon poll released this week, the rising cost of housing is among the most significant barriers that Tennesseans face on the path to financial stability and growth. The Supreme Court’s decision this morning in Sheetz v. El Dorado County will help.  The rise in housing costs is due in no small part to the rise in permits and fees. Government can prohibit builders from building on their property until the builders acquiesce to extortionate government demands. In a landmark case from 1987, the Court rebuffed the California Coastal Commission’s efforts to force property owner ..read more
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