1. School Isn’t Closed for Lack of Money, By Corey A. DeAngelis and Christos A. Makridis, The Wall Street Journal, March 10, 2021, Pg. A17, Opinion
The new Covid-19 relief plan, passed by the Senate over the weekend, includes $123 billion for K-12 public schools, supposedly to help them reopen. That’s almost the amount the U.S. dedicated, in real terms, to the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after World War II. And it’s on top of the mostly unspent $54 billion federal bailout for public schools from December and the $13 billion allocation from last spring.
Major teachers unions have claimed repeatedly that public schools need gobs of cash to reopen in person. American Federation of Teachers chief Randi Weingarten protests that “countless places lack the resources to implement the necessary safety provisions.” But our new analysis suggests funding isn’t the reason teachers unions are keeping schools shut. In fact, our prior work has found that union influence, rather than scientific concerns about the spread of the virus, is the primary driver behind reopening decisions.

study published by Brown University’s Annenberg Institute found that public schools with more Catholic school competition nearby were more likely to reopen in person in 2020. It also found, and three other studies confirm, that public school districts with stronger teachers unions are substantially less likely to reopen in person.
Mr. DeAngelis is director of school choice at the Reason Foundation, executive director at the Educational Freedom Institute and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute. Mr. Makridis is a research professor at Arizona State University, a nonresident fellow at Baylor University and a senior adviser at Gallup.
2. Maryland’s Hogan lifts caps on dining, retail and religious establishments, By Rebecca Tan and Erin Cox, The Washington Post, March 10, 2021, Pg. A1
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday said he will lift capacity limits on indoor and outdoor dining, retail businesses, fitness centers and religious establishments — the most dramatic steps taken toward reopening in the region since the winter surge in coronavirus cases.
3. Arkansas governor signs near-total abortion ban into law, By Andrew Demillo, Associated Press, March 9, 2021, 3:53 PM
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday signed into law legislation banning nearly all abortions in the state, a sweeping measure that supporters hope will force the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit its landmark Roe v. Wade decision but opponents vow to block before it takes effect later this year.
The Republican governor had expressed reservations about the bill, which only allows the procedure to save the life of the mother and does not provide exceptions for those impregnated in an act of rape or incest. Arkansas is one of at least 14 states where legislators have proposed outright abortion bans this year.
Hutchinson said he was signing the bill because of its “overwhelming legislative support and my sincere and long-held pro-life convictions.”
4. U.S. Catholic Bishops Oppose $1.9T ‘Relief Bill’ Because It Uses Tax Dollars to Pay for Abortion, By Michael W. Chapman, CNSNews, March 9, 2021, 12:53 PM
Because the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, the American Rescue Plan Act, does not include prohibitions against taxpayer-funding of abortions in the United States and abroad, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has urged lawmakers to vote against its passage.

Maureen Ferguson, senior fellow for the Catholic Association, said of the legislation, “It is tragic and ironic that pro-abortion Democrats are insisting on subsidizing the taking of innocent lives in a bill aimed at saving lives. The Hyde amendment, which protects American taxpayers from funding abortion, has had bi-partisan support and consensus for more than 40 years.”
“Any bill which excludes Hyde cannot claim to advance unity,” she said. “Democrats have hidden this abortion funding under the guise of ‘pandemic relief’ because a majority of Americans don’t want to pay for abortions – in fact, recent polling shows 58% oppose domestic funding for abortion.”
5. Supreme Court Silences Institutional ‘Wokeness’, The court’s 8-1 decision in Chike Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski is a victory for religious freedom, By Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, National Catholic Register, March 9, 2021, Opinion
The Supreme Court on Monday decided Chike Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski. It’s a huge victory for religious freedom and strikes a blow against the tyranny of campus speech codes.

Uzuegbunam is no longer a student at Gwinnett and the college is no longer enforcing a draconian anti-speech policy. While his “injury” may be only worth only $1 in nominal damages, getting progressive groups on the record against the institutional wokeness that tried to silence Uzuegbunam is priceless.
Andrea Picciotti-Bayer is the director of the Conscience Project.

TCA Media Monitoring provides a snapshot from national newspapers and major Catholic press outlets of coverage regarding significant Catholic Church news and current issues with which the Catholic Church is traditionally or prominently engaged. The opinions and views expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Catholic Association.
Subscribe to the TCA podcast!

“Conversations with Consequences” is a new audio program from The Catholic Association. We’ll bring you thoughtful dialogue with the leading thinkers of our time on the most consequential issues of our day. Subscribe today or listen online and enjoy our entertaining and informative weekly episodes.