Policy Snapshots - February 7, 2017

By Mississippi Center for Public Policy
February 8, 2017


President Trump orders regulatory relief

For every new regulation; two must be removed


"Small business owners rank unreasonable government regulations as their second most important problem. Regulations have been in their top three concerns for 96 consecutive months." That's according to NFIB President Juanita Duggan in a statement welcoming President Donald Trump's executive order requiring federal agencies to identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed for every one proposed.
Duggan continued, "The implementing rules to be issued by the Office of Management and Budget should emphasize that the extraordinary costs and complexity of regulations falls hardest on America's small and independent businesses. Regulatory agencies and OMB should keep that in mind as they execute the President's order."
Read more details from the National Federation of Business here and read the "Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs" here.

Source: NFIB


Education System Holds the Poor Down
MCPP's School Choice Week Liberty Luncheon Features National Expert

Kevin Chavous, former Washington DC city councilman and national advocate for school choice, told those at the MCPP Liberty Luncheon last week that we should be outraged over the state of the American education system.

"At one time educationally we were the envy of the world. No one did it better...We were at one time the most socially mobile people on the planet. That means if you were born in poverty in America fifty years ago, more than any other place on earth, you had a better opportunity to move up the rungs from poverty to lower class to middle class to upper class based on your own wiles and educational advancement. That's where we were. Where we are today is exactly the opposite. Every 42 seconds a child drops out of school in America...48 percent of America's public schools are either failing or under-performing...We have gone from the most socially mobile people on the planet to the least socially mobile people on the planet. If you are born in poverty in America you have less of a chance to get into the middle class than some kid riding a rickshaw in Hong Kong or gliding along the Amazon in South America. That should lead to a sense of outrage that is holistically American in nature."

Watch his full speech here:

Liberty Luncheon with Kevin Chavous

Source: MCPP

Vo-Tech students more job-ready
A different kind of school choice


Massachusetts has more than 4,000 vo-tech applicants on waitlists to get into career-vocational technical education programs. The Pioneer Institute notes, "Vocational technical education, once looked down upon as 'less than' traditional high school, is coming into its own, and families across the commonwealth are appreciating the relevance and rigor inherent in completing a full academic schedule every other week, alternating with the in-depth study of a trade or career of their choice...According to a statewide survey of business owners, and others by the Dukakis Center at Northeastern University, vocational school graduates are more job-ready than general education or college preparatory high school graduates."

Source: Pioneer Institute

Crippling regulations
In small business, the owner becomes the number one regulatory expert

"Federal regulation has crippled the ability of small business to create jobs and contribute to economic growth" according to Gloria Taylor writing for Heritage Action. She says a new survey released by The National Association of Small Business shows, "nearly one-third of businesses spend over 80 hours drowning in compliance with an average cost of $12,000. For most small businesses the owner becomes the "number one regulatory expert" dealing with compliance paperwork and interpreting the rules rather than growing their company. Business owners admit they have held off on hiring and investment, and entrepreneurs hesitate to start a business given regulatory startup costs averaging over $83,000 in just the first year alone."

You can read the full survey here.

Source: Heritage Action for America

History is Mystery
Mississippi's U.S. History graduation tests start with 1870s

"If you were designing a U.S. History test, where would you start? The Revolutionary War? The Pilgrims? Maybe the Magna Carta as a precursor to the Declaration of Independence?" MCPP President Forest Thigpen asks this in a recent column. He explains, "For Mississippi high school students, the U.S. History 'subject area test,' which they must take before graduating, starts in the 1870s. On this test, according to the Mississippi Department of Education's (MDE's) 'Student/Parent Information Guide,' you won't find questions about George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. Nothing about the Declaration of Independence, the birth of the Constitution or the debates on the Bill of Rights. The Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and even the Civil War are all absent."

Thigpen recommends the "current U.S. History test should at least be augmented with the basic Civics Test given to immigrants who want to become U.S. citizens. Its 100 questions cover some current facts, such as the name of the president, but most of it is a good smattering of questions that cover the whole span of U.S. History."

Read Thigpen's full column: State test rewrites history.

Take a look at the current questions in the Mississippi Department of Education's U.S. History Sample Test Part 1 and Part 2.

Review the questions and answers to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Civics Test.

Source: Mississippi Center for Public Policy




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