You are leading the debate on school safety

On the eve of the March For Our Lives, where hundreds of students are expected to march on DC promoting gun control policy, Heritage had a more holistic approach: this past Wednesday and Thursday, The Heritage Foundation hosted an event to discuss school safety.

Dozens of members, students, and activists came to Washington from across the country to learn about the many factors that cause violence in our schools. They also discussed the ways that policymakers, teachers, and law enforcement can better address the real problems causing school shootings, such as mental illness, gang violence, and school discipline.

Despite a snowstorm forcing Heritage to close its doors on the first day of the event, Vice President for Policy Promotion Bridgett Wagner and her team set up and conducted the first session of the initiative at the JW Marriott, where many of the attendees were staying. There, they had the opportunity to engage and network with one another, while discussing how to best frame the school safety debate.

The second day of the event took place at Heritage, and there attendees listened to President Kay Coles James expand the debate past gun control, and discussed the solutions and the policies that could help make our schools safer.

“The solution should not be to throw more money into the system,” explained Laura Erekson, an attendee and former Heritage intern who is a junior in college. “We need more people who care about the schools and care about the kids. School safety should be our topic, not gun violence.”

Together, Heritage and Heritage members are shifting the discussion from the symptoms of school safety to the sources, and are advancing real conservative solutions to one of America’s most tragic issues.


What do you think is the first issue we need to tackle in order to make our schools safer?

Providing school choice to military families

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

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?