The Supreme Court Should Take a Stand for Religious Charter Schools

The Supreme Court is expected to announce shortly whether it will hear the case of Peltier v. Charter Day School, in which a North Carolina mother of two sued the school her children attend over its policy of having different dress codes for boys and girls. In the view of a federal appeals court, charter schools, since they receive private funds, are public institutions and thus the dress code is impermissible. George Will hopes the Supreme Court will overturn the ruling. Doing so would make room for religious charter schools—including Jewish ones.

If opponents of expanded school choices would devote to improving public education half the ingenuity they invest in impeding competition from alternatives to the status quo, there would be less demand for alternatives. That demand would be strengthened by a Supreme Court decision that charter schools are not “state actors,” and hence can present pedagogical and cultural choices without being vulnerable to suffocating litigation.

Charters are so popular the public education establishment must attack them indirectly, by what [a dissenting appeals-court judge] calls “the slow strangulation of litigation.” Unless the Supreme Court rescues charters from the “state actor” designation, today’s argument that sex differences in dress codes violate “equal protection” will morph into attacks on single-sex charters, and bathroom or sports policies based on biological sex. Discussions of religion will provoke First Amendment establishment-clause challenges. Only the Supreme Court can protect charters from progressives who, ever eager to break all institutions to the saddle of government, pursue this aim while praising a predictable casualty of it, true diversity.

Read more at Washington Post

More about: Education, Freedom of Religion, Supreme Court, U.S. Politics

Despite the Toll of War at Home and Rising Hostility Abroad, Investors Are Still Choosing Israel

When I first saw news that Google wasn’t going through with its acquisition of the tech startup Wiz, I was afraid hesitancy over its Israeli founders and close ties with the Jewish state might have something to do with it. I couldn’t have been more wrong: the deal is off not because of Google’s hesitancy, but because Wiz feared the FTC would slow down the process with uncertain results. The company is instead planning an initial public offering. In the wake of the CrowdStrike debacle, companies like Wiz have every reason to be optimistic, as Sophie Shulman explains:

For the Israeli cyber sector, CrowdStrike’s troubles are an opportunity. CrowdStrike is a major competitor to Palo Alto Networks, and both companies aim to provide comprehensive cyber defense platforms. The specific issue that caused the global Windows computer shutdown is related to their endpoint protection product, an area where they compete with Palo Alto’s Cortex products developed in Israel and the SentinelOne platform.

Friday’s drop in CrowdStrike shares reflects investor frustration and the expectation that potential customers will now turn to competitors, strengthening the position of Israeli companies. This situation may renew interest in smaller startups and local procurement in Israel, given how many institutions were affected by the CrowdStrike debacle.

Indeed, it seems that votes of confidence in Israeli technology are coming from many directions, despite the drop in the Tel Aviv stock exchange following the attack from Yemen, and despite the fact that some 46,000 Israeli businesses have closed their doors since October 7. Tel Aviv-based Cyabra, which creates software that identifies fake news, plans a $70 million IPO on Nasdaq. The American firm Applied Systems announced that it will be buying a different Israeli tech startup and opening a research-and-development center in Israel. And yet another cybersecurity startup, founded by veterans of the IDF’s elite 8200 unit, came on the scene with $33 million in funding. And those are the stories from this week alone.

But it’s not only the high-tech sector that’s attracting foreign investment. The UK-based firm Energean plans to put approximately $1.2 billion into developing a so-far untapped natural-gas field in Israel’s coastal waters. Money speaks much louder than words, and it seems Western businesses don’t expect Israel to become a global pariah, or to collapse in the face of its enemies, anytime soon.

Read more at Calcalist

More about: cybersecurity, Israeli economy, Israeli gas, Israeli technology, Start-up nation