Friday Five: Homeschool boom, state budget, & more

Welcome to the Friday Five! Every Friday we share our top five articles, stories, and quotes for you to read and share with your friends and church families.

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1. ABC11: 60K students left North Carolina public schools in 2020: What's driving the drop?

“Around 68,000 fewer students were enrolled in traditional public schools during the 2019-2020 school year, according to the latest average daily membership data from the North Carolina Department of Public Education.”

“Homeschooling also soared in popularity this past year, with a 20% increase in enrollment, according to data analyzed from the North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education. Seventh-grader Katie Austin is one of the students who opted out of public school at the start of last school year. . . .When Goeke-Austin was able to work from home, it created the perfect opportunity to open the family's homeschool, they coined 'Mountain View Academy.'

"I think in one way the pandemic was a blessing for our family because it did allow me to work from home so we could do this. I was really nervous about her going back to public school in 6th grade because she was so far behind and the schools just weren't catching her up," Goeke-Austin said. She said that Katie struggled in public school for years due to her dyslexia, but is now thriving at home. "I also noticed as her confidence gained so did her scores. She was struggling to hang on in public school and so this allowed her to finally take it at her own pace, absorb what she was learning and then her tests scores reflected it," Goeke-Austin said.

Katie is in homeschool again this school year and said she would like to be homeschooled 'forever.'”

Also check out this article about how a school choice scholarship helped a retired soldier’s autistic daughter to thrive.

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2. STUDY OPPORTUNITY: Patriot Academy’s Biblical Citizenship 8-week course with host Craig Seibert

Now more than ever, our nation is in need of Biblical citizens who grasp the dynamic unity of citizens of the Kingdom of God and citizens of this great nation!

This course offers the quick-start guide to the the longest standing Constitution in history, complete with an overview of all the Articles, and Amendments. What sets this apart from other U.S. Constitution courses is the interactive, fast-paced presentations; the fabulous locations of Independence Hall and the Wallbuilders' Library; and finally our Biblical heritage intricately woven throughout the entire course!

You will learn how the Founders relied on their Christian moorings and Biblical worldview to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. You will also be treated to encouraging historical facts and inspirational true stories that are not taught in our educational institutions today.

Click here to learn more. Information on how to attend this event online will be emailed after registration.

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3. CAROLINA JOURNAL: Charlotte unanimously passes nondiscrimination ordinance

“The city of Charlotte unanimously passed a nondiscrimination ordinance Monday, Aug. 9, the first in the city since the 2016 measure that led to House Bill 2.

The two Republicans on the City Council joined with nine Democrats in supporting the ordinance”.

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4. NC VALUES: On the Charlotte City Council’s passage of anti-religious liberty SOGI

On Monday night, the Charlotte City Council passed a SOGI (an ordinance that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity). Charlotte's SOGI applies to vendors who contract with the City, public accommodations, employment and vehicles for hire like taxis and Uber.

Every person should be treated with dignity and respect, and our laws should protect the constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of every citizen, no matter who they are. Unfortunately, coercive sexual orientation and gender identity laws like Charlotte’s NDO undermine both fairness and freedom. These laws force people who willingly serve everyone to promote messages and celebrate events that conflict with their beliefs.

Around the country, NDO laws like Charlotte’s SOGI have been used to punish people like Jack Phillips, Barronelle Stutzman, and Blaine Adamson for declining to create custom art that expresses messages that conflict with their beliefs. These types of laws coerce uniformity of thought and speech on beliefs about marriage, sex, and what it means to be male and female. Creative professionals were hung out to dry by Charlotte’s ordinance.

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5. CAROLINA JOURNAL: What is happening with our state budget

“The General Assembly convened Jan. 13 and has met for well over 100 days. More than 1,700 bills have been filed; bills on election reform, appropriating federal COVID money, energy modernization, medical marijuana, sports betting, constitutional amendments, education reforms, health care advancements, regulatory reforms, unemployment benefits, confirmations, and appointments — to name a few.

Out of all the bills filed, the one that matters most is the overall budget.“

Yesterday, the North Carolina House “approved a two-year budget with enough support to thwart a potential veto from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.” (check out this ABC11 article to stay up to date on the latest).

We also recommend checking out the John Locke Foundation Paige Terryberry’s discussion on the N.C. House budget here.

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WEEKLY PRAYER: FAMILY

LORD, we cry out to you as Father. You are a model of the love, mercy, and authority of the perfect parent. We thank you for modeling for us what every parent should strive for, and for creating this wonderful institution called family.

LORD, we thank you for creating us with a basic nature designed to not be alone. You made us to desire the intimacy of relationships, and it is here where we experience joys indescribable: the joys of marriage, the joys of having children; the joys of seeing our children have children. What a blessing and mercy you gave us in the family! In it we find our first teachers, our first guardians, and our first authorities.

LORD, we recognize how deeply you love your children, and how deeply it pains you when they go astray. Alongside our adoration and thanksgiving, we pray in confession—as individuals and as members of larger communities—over any sins we may have committed that undermine your beloved institution. Forgive us when we endanger your institution through selfishness and arrogance. Forgive our communities and nation for attempting to redefine some of the most basic and deepest parts of being human—being made male and female, having lifelong marriage vows and responsibilities, and having parental rights over educating one's children.

"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." (Colossians 3:12-17)

Amen

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Sincerely,

North Carolina Values Coalition

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