Welcome to The Round-Up, your weekly review of the important news happening around ASU, Arizona, and the country. We lead off with more news about education — some of it good, some of it bad.
The Arizona Board of Regents is set to vote on a permanent increase for out-of-state students. In February, ABOR will decide the highest percentage of out-of-state students allowed to make up the student body of the three state universities. Should ABOR approve this measure, the current cap, 40 percent, would be locked in. A rejection of this measure will set the cap to its previous level of 30 percent, which is where is was two years ago before ABOR decided to temporarily raise the issue.
The AZUN program will end this July. The AZUN program allows students at any of the state universities to take online classes at another in state university with no extra cost. Unfortunately, the ending of this program is due to budget cuts. It is the latest casualty from Arizona's decreasing education funds.
Despite the increase in music piracy and digital downloading, some local record shops are keeping vinyl records and CD sales alive. Two record stores, Revolver Records and Zia Record Exchange have managed to keep their doors open and serve local customers. Between vinyl and CD purchases, local customers have given these record stores reason to believe that owning a small business is actually doable in this economy.
The number of registered independents has exceeded both 1 million and the number of registered Democrats in Arizona, reports Ginger Rough of The Arizona Republic. There are now 1,010,725 registered voters who have no party affiliation while there are 1,008,689 Democrats. Republicans still have the highest party registration in Arizona.
Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu City, and Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, are the primary sponsors of bills in the state Legislature that would re-define citizenship and revoke birthright citizenship, which is granted under the 14th Amendment and to everyone born on U.S. soil, reports Alia Beard Rau of The Arizona Republic. House Bill 2561 and Senate Bill 1309 redefine citizenship, while House Bill 2562 and Senate Bill 1308 create separate birth certificates — one for those who meet the new definition for citizenship, one for those who don't.
Around the Country
In the State of the Union address on Tuesday night, President Barack Obama focused on investments that will help America "win the future," write Anne E. Kornblut and Scott Wilson of The Washington Post. The president talked about investing in education, high speed rail, and research and development. He also struck a tone of unity and called for both parties to work together.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that the military may be ready to carry out the full repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" this year, report Thom Shanker and Elisabeth Bumiller of The New York Times. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the military's ban on gay, lesbian, and bisexual people serving openly, was repealed last December by Congress. Before they can serve openly the military must train its members and revise its policies on housing and recruiting.