Highland Capital Presents Endowment to George W. Bush Presidential Center

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Highland Capital Management has announced that it will continue supporting the George W. Bush Presidential Center with an endowment gift in the amount of $10 million. This endowment will help to maintain the public programs that the Bush Center provides. Highland is also set to become the sponsor for the series entitled “Engage at the Bush Center, presented by Highland Capital Management.” This series will bring newsmakers, creative professionals and authors together for discussions and lectures during the year. The announcement was made by Kenneth Hersh, the CEO of the Bush Presidential Center and James Dondero, the president and cofounder of Highland Capital Management. Read this article at investopedia.com.

Highland Capital has long been a supporter of the Bush Center, and the organization has helped to develop the Center significantly. Harsh says that the team at the Bush Center is grateful to Dondero for his commitment and that he foresees a continually beneficial relationship. Highland Capital Management has given more than $5 million to the Bush Center since 2012. Highland is also one of the founding benefactors that contributed to the development of the facilities to the Bush Center that opened in 2013. Visit hcp.com to know more.

The endowment gift will allow Highland Capital Management will sponsor a variety of events that will be held at the Bush Center this year, including the Highland Capital Lecture, which takes place annually. Dondero is also set to be part of Hersh’s Executive Advisory Council.

Thee first event under the Highland-sponsored series will be on February 5, and will include a special two-part program in partnership with the National Constitution Center. The event will be titled “Constitutional Conversations: Justice Scalia’s Memorable Speeches/ James Madison & Today’s Media. Guests must register for the event at www.bushcenter.org and admission is free. The interview will start with a conversation with Christopher Scalia, the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s soon. Christopher is also the author of Scalia Speaks, Reflections on Law, Faith and Live Well Lived.
View: https://patch.com/texas/across-tx/trey-parker-becomes-co-cio-highland-capital

March 6, 2018

U.S. Education Department Makes Policy Change on Transgender Bathrooms in Schools

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The U.S. Department of Education announced this week that it will no longer look into transgender bathroom complaints.
This decision is a clear sign that President Trump’s staff is interpreting federal laws regarding sex discrimination in schools differently than the previous administration.

The policy change is a direct reversal of the Obama administration’s decision in 2016 to include transgender students as a protected class under the Title IX federal law. Under Obama, schools were mandated to provide access to bathrooms and locker rooms for students based on their personal gender identity as opposed to their gender at birth.
“Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, not gender identity,” said Education Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Hill in an interview with CNN.
At the same time, Hill made it clear that her department will continue to uphold and execute Title IX and will not tolerate discrimination of any child in public schools, including discrimination based on gender identity.

“While civil rights advocates have suspected that the Department of Education was not acting on complaints brought forward by transgender students, reports that these violations are completely being ignored are reprehensible,” said Sarah Warbelow, legal director at the Human Rights Campaign.

The National Center for Transgender Equality called the Education department’s decision “a brazen and shameless attack on hundreds of thousands of young Americans who must already defend themselves against schoolyard bullies,” in a press statement.

Currently, there is a court injunction which does not compel public schools to provide transgender bathrooms. Thirteen states are challenging the transgender bathroom in a case which could be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court during this year.

March 6, 2018

Education Department Avoids Transgender Bathroom Discrimination

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The bathroom debate continues as several transgender individuals explain they have been discriminated against in United States public schools. The indiviuals claim that they were not allowed to use the specific restroom that is labeled with the gender they identify with.

In past instances these complaints concerning schools were sent on to the Education Department. However, a new announcement from the Trump administration explains that the department will no longer deal with these issues. While there is still protection for transgender students, the protection does not seem to follow them into the restroom.

“Where students, including transgender students, are penalized or harassed for failing to conform to sex-based stereotypes, that is sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX,” spokeswoman for the Department of Education told the Huffington Post. “In the case of bathrooms, however, long standing regulations provide that separating facilities on the basis of sex is not a form of discrimination prohibited by Title IX.”

The formal announcement is the first of its kind, since the Obama administration promised regulation of the protection of such students in public schools. Understandably, outrage has been pouring in as parents of transgender students explain that the news makes things even harder for their children.

The Office of Civil Rights explains that all complaints of discrimination against transgender students will continue to be investigated, as long as it does not involve the bathroom issue.

March 5, 2018

Jackson County Schools to be Overhauled in Georgia

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The Jackson County Board of Education announced on Wednesday that the Jackson County School System has big changes planned for the coming year. The county, located in northeast Georgia, has decided to construct a brand new high school. As part of a county-wide initiative to improve public schools, the West Jackson Middle School in Jefferson will also undergo a $6.5 million renovation.

The county’s new high school will replace the Jackson County Comprehensive High School, located in Jefferson, Georgia. The high school will be located near the town of Braselton and should be ready to open its doors by 2020. The Jackson County Board of Education officially voted to take the old high school off of their long range comprehensive facilities plan, a move that will allow them to use a special $15 million fund available from the state of Georgia to construct their new building.

The Jackson County Comprehensive High School will be transformed into a College & Career Academy, a special charter school that provides classes for college credit. The University of North Georgia and Lanier Technical College will offer classes on the campus. While the new high school is being built near Braselton, high school students in the district will continue to use the old high school’s athletic fields.

Jackson County is located between the university town of Athens and Atlanta, the state’s largest city. The Jackson County School System has around 7,700 students. The county is also home to the Commerce City School District and the Jefferson City School District.

March 4, 2018

Rihanna Gets Country To Donate Millions To Education

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Is there anything Rihanna can’t do?

Recently, Rihanna made the decision to use her spotlight from philanthropic efforts. With education as her point of interest, she is already making some pretty big strides. According to the Huffington Post, hours into her efforts, she was able to persuade the Australian government to make a vary large donation to the Global Partnership for Education.

It all started last week when Rihanna began tweeting at Australian, British, and French leaders to donate to the organization. Tweeting directly at specific leaders, the pop star asked them to donate $200 million.

Mere hours later, the Australian Foreign Minister responded.

“Today I announce a pledge of $90 million by the Australian Government to support quality and inclusive education worldwide through the Global Partnership for Education,” the foreign minister said. “This pledge forms part of Australia’s commitment to ensuring more children, particularly girls and children with disabilities, participate in school for longer and acquire the skills they need to build their future.”

While many are applauding the celebrity’s actions, others are pointing out that the government had probably already planned this hefty contribution as the Global Partnership for Education gears up for its conference this weekend.

Regardless of who spurred the donation, education advocates say this is a great step in the right direction for education. The recent donation from the Australian government is being called a last ditch effort before the annual conference begins.

March 3, 2018

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program in Jeopardy

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President Donald Trump is not necessarily known for his likability. His recent budget proposal that includes plans to eliminate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program will likely not help. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which began in 2007, provides federal student loan debt forgiveness to public service workers after 120 qualifying payments. This program, which has already received about 750,000 applications for debt forgiveness, has been a much-needed help to many public service workers that often are underpaid for the outstanding work that they provide for their communities. Trump’s proposal would impact students who borrow a new federal student loan beginning on July 1, 2019.

Trump’s proposal tampers with more than student loan forgiveness. He also plans to restructure the federal student loan repayment plans. Currently, there are several income-driven repayment plans. This proposal would create one income-driven plan that would require borrowers to pay 12.5 percent of their discretionary income instead of the current 10 percent. However, the proposal does reduce the payment plan length from 20 years to 15 years for students with only undergraduate student loans, while extending the time for students with graduate student loans from 25 years to 30 years. Further, the proposal would eliminate subsidized student loans. These loans prevent interest from accruing on the loans while students are in school. None of these changes can be effective until Congress approves. Hopefully, they will understand the burden that student loans can place on particularly lower-income Americans and find an alternative strategy.

March 2, 2018

Racial Concerns Lead to Banning of Classic American Novels in Minnesota School District

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In what may be a desire to achieve racial harmony or, perhaps, an attempt to take political correctness to an absurd level, a Minnesota school district has banned from its curriculum two classic American novels. The decision has drawn praise from a civil rights group and criticism from an organization dedicated to free speech.
“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” written in the 19th century by famed American novelist Mark Twain, and Harper Lee’s book “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which was published nearly a century later, will no longer be part of the curriculum in the Duluth Public School District. Both will be available in school libraries, but their reading will be voluntary. Known for their handling of racial issues, both books are also known for their heavy use of racial epithets. Learn more about the controversy at www.reddit.com/r/education.
According to Michael Cary, the district’s curriculum director, the racist remarks found in both novels were harmful because they either “humiliated or marginalized” students. He said that other “literary options” are available to help students understand the issues examined in the books. The banning received praise from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a spokesman for which said that the books have been “hurtful” to victims of racial repression. However, the National Coalition Against Censorship asked the district to reconsider its decision.
The same books have in the past been targeted for censorship for the same reasons. Both were removed from schools in Virginia in 2016, although they would later be reinstated, and Lee’s novel was taken out of Mississippi schools the following year.

March 1, 2018

Nick Vertucci: A True Story of Rags to Riches

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Nick Vertucci came from a humble background and he believes people don’t have to become products of their environment. Nick grew up in a loving lower middle class home, but things took a turn for the worst when at age 10 his father died. This forced him mother to work extra hours to support the family. By the time he turned 18, Nick was living out of his vehicle and had hit rock bottom. He was able to turn his life around in his early 20’s when he started his own business selling computer parts. Life was going well and Nick Vertucci got married and had children during this time period. Unfortunately, financial disaster struck during the dot-com crash of 2000 and Nick lost almost everything overnight. This incident taught him to be smarter with his money.

For nearly the next two years he continued to fall deeper in debt because his bills exceeded his income. He lost basically everything of value except for his home. During this time period his friend invited him to a real estate workshop and this changed his life. Nick Vertucci felt invigorated and was motivated to learn as much about the business as possible. It took him over 10 years to gain the experience and knowledge he needed to be really successful in the field. Once he became wealthy, Nick Vertucci wanted to share his knowledge to help other people achieve their financial goals. His company Nick Vertucci Real Estate Academy teaches a simple turnkey system that most people can use to become successful. Nick can relate to the average person because he has experienced many ups and downs and sincerely enjoys helping people. He founded his company in 2013 and it is now one of the most popular real estate courses in the country.

Find out more about Nick Vertucci: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEtnxvphpkE

February 27, 2018

Scott Rocklage

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Scott Rocklage is the co-founding partner at 5am Ventures. He since joined the company back in 2003 and quickly became the managing partner in 2004. This company is the leading venture firm in developing next generation life-science. They support other companies in building ground-breaking medicine and researching health sciences. They range from preventing numerous illnesses, to even diagnoses. 5am Venture consists of a team full of investors that are all experts in:

• strong scientific and medical research

• financing

• legal operations
Scott Rocklage has had over 20 years of healthcare management and leadership experience. He is also responsible for three U.S New Drug Applications getting approved by the FDA and six other drugs being entered into clinical trials. In his early life, Rocklage went to study at the University of California and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. After that, he decided to pursue his Ph.D in Chemistry and obtained it from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Learn more: https://www.dialdish.com/scott-rocklage-seeks-to-conquer-cancer-by-targeting-mutant-rna-molecules/
Dr. Rocklage is now partnering with Expansion Therapeutics in finding a cure for different diseases concerning RNA-triggered illnesses. Now, these different diseases can be treated with medications and Expansion Therapeutics won’t rest until they’ve figured one out. Dr. Scott Rocklage is also by their side each step of the way trying to figure out other options for patients.
Myotonic Dystrophy Type I, or in other words, DM1 has been the leading cause of muscular dystrophy in adults. This mainly happens when RNA levels reach a toxic proportion in the human body. It can be very life-therenting for anyone as many of the body’s systems begin to shut down including the:

• Respiratory system

• Central nervous system

• Heart and Muscles

• Gastrointestinal system

• Hormonal system
Since many of these RNA illnesses are hereditary, Expansion Therapeutics knew something had to be done.
As a result of this, the company decided to add over $55 million dollars to cover expenses in order to find a cure! With this new budget, Rocklage and his team is there to help with all the leading and financing!

February 23, 2018

77 Year Old Custodian Surprised With First Birthday Ever

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When Frances (Ms. Frances) Buzzard came into work at Belle Elementary School on January 19th, she was expecting a regular day of custodial duties, but what Ms. Frances didn’t expect was a school wide surprise party for her 77th birthday. School communities become like family, especially if the kids are there for more than three years then all the staff become the child’s daytime family. So when Belle Elementary’s Principal, Amanda Mays discovered that Ms. Frances has never had a birthday party before, Amanda set out to change that. Cupcakes were made, kids were told to keep the secret and practiced a song, the staff even made a short video presentation in honor of Ms. Frances.

When everything was in place, Ms. Frances was called down to the lunchroom right after lunch period expecting to clean a spill or other such minor thing, but instead found about 200 of the school children, and the staff waiting with a surprise and a pink tiara for Ms. Frances. Ms. Frances will never forget the day that the school kids and staff came together to celebrate her special day. Stories such as these are what help shape young students into a more caring, giving individual. The education system comes under a lot of fire for under funding, pressure to reach the school numbers for state funding, and for kids to reach their specific developmental goals for the year so it’s a positive thing to see what makes schools tick and that’s the family created between staff and the kids in schools nationwide.

February 22, 2018