November 6, 2021
Freedom works. That simple yet lofty principle this nation was founded on has lifted millions out of poverty and provided choices for Americans in all facets of life. But freedom forgotten is no freedom at all, and if we are to maintain our liberty and strive for more of it, we must never forget where we came from and how we got here.
In short, we must not take out freedoms for granted. This was a prominent theme at the Goldwater Institute’s Annual Dinner on Friday in Scottsdale, Arizona, where a room full of friends and supporters of our mission celebrated what the Institute has accomplished in the past year and looked forward to what we can achieve in the next one.
Driving this theme home was the event’s keynote speaker, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a strong supporter of school choice and parents’ rights, among other pro-liberty policies.
Other featured speakers included Kevin Jackson, a nationally syndicated radio host and vocal critic of Critical Race Theory, and Nicole Solas, a Rhode Island mom whom the Goldwater Institute is representing in her fight for academic transparency. Solas’ story garnered national attention after her simple request to see her daughter’s kindergarten curriculum was stonewalled at every turn by a school district that ultimately sent her a bill for $74,000, just to see public records.
Commentators in media outlets like MSNBC, The Washington Post, and The Hill would have you believe that the results of Tuesday’s Virginia gubernatorial election, which saw Glenn Youngkin defeat former Governor Terry McAuliffe, can be blamed on ignorant racists. But Goldwater Institute Director of Education Policy Matt Beienburg writes that, as is “evident from the results in Virginia and the groundswell of parental engagement across the country, such condescension is likely only to solidify the resolve and dedication of parents now standing up for their kids.”
Parents are growing tired of being stonewalled or worse when they ask what their children are being taught in taxpayer-funded public schools. And according to Beienburg, Tuesday’s results show that advocates for educational freedom and curriculum accountability “appear to just be getting started.”
When you live with someone who serves in the military, home is apt to change every few years. Unfortunately, moving to a new state often means encountering burdensome occupational licensing regulations that effectively keep workers from earning a living until they become licensed in their new state, even if they’ve already been licensed in their old one.
“The average military family moves every two to three years, packing up the contents of their lives and getting adjusted to new neighborhoods, new schools and new routines,” Goldwater Institute Director of Strategic Engagement Heather Curry writes for Philanthropy Roundtable. “For military spouses, these frequent relocations can mean major disruptions in their careers. Those who work in fields that require occupational licenses often have to invest more time and more money simply to continue doing their jobs in their new state of residence.”
Military families already sacrifice so much. They shouldn’t have to sacrifice the fundamental right to work, too. No American should. That’s why the Goldwater Institute advocates for policy-makers to break down barriers to work, by enacting universal recognition of out-of-state occupational licenses.
You can learn more about Goldwater’s efforts to break down barriers to work here, and view our model legislation here. You can also read Curry’s full piece in Philanthropy Roundtable here.