Saudi women fight for the right to drive, then a NJ schools update

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Saudi women board a taxi in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Hour 1

There’s a protest planned in Saudi Arabia on Friday that’s encouraging women to get into their cars and drive.  Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are banned from driving – they can go to University, to work, to the store but they can’t drive themselves there.  That’s why Saudi Arabian women activists started a Facebook campaign Women2Drive and have used Twitter and YouTube to protest the driving ban.  In fact, last month activist and working mother Manal al-Sharif was arrested and detained for 10 days after she posted a video of herself driving on YouTube.  This hour, we’ll talk about the movement to give women the right to drive in Saudi Arabia.  And, we’ll look at how the Arab Spring protests are affecting women’s rights in the rest of the Arab world.  ISOBEL COLEMAN, Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council of Foreign Relations and author of Paradise Beneath Her Feet: How Women are Transforming the Middle East. Then, we shift gears to talk about schools and budgets in New Jersey. The Garden State’s budget process is approaching a June 30 deadline. The state Supreme Court ruled last month that New Jersey owes its 31 urban and impoverished Abbott districts $447 million this year, with Democratic legislators contemplating a similar sum for wealthier suburban school districts. And Gov. Christie is touting his “Transformation Schools” plan, a pilot program that would let private companies manage some poorly performing public schools. The Republican governor also recently enlisted South Jersey Democratic power broker George Norcross in support of a tuition tax credit bill to provide up to $12,000 vouchers for low-income students in select districts to attend private schools. Providing a New Jersey schools issues update will be JOHN MOONEY, founding editor and education writer for NJ Spotlight.

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[audio: 061611_100630.mp3]

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