Achievement gap in standardized testing was growing. COVID added fuel to the fire.

The latest:
What senators passed: A resolution approving Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO. Lawmakers approved one amendment stating that all NATO members should spend at least 2% of their gross domestic product on defense and 20% of their defense budgets on major equipment, including research and development.
Who voted against it: Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo.
When it will take effect: Membership will not take full effect until all 30 NATO member nations ratify the accession protocols.
Stumbling block: Turkey initially opposed Sweden and Finland’s bid to join the alliance, and its parliament has not yet approved their membership.
What Turkey sought: Turkey had insisted the two Nordic nations renounce support for a Kurdish militant group in Syria, demanded they extradite people that Ankara suspects of terrorist activity and pushed for them to lift an embargo on arms exports to Turkey.
Potential problems: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said last month that Turkey could “freeze” the process if Sweden and Finland do not adhere to a June deal the three countries struck in Madrid at a NATO summit.
Defense spending: NATO nations have agreed to put 2% of their GDP toward defense spending. Sweden is currently on track to reach the full amount by 2028, but that timeline could shift depending on the outcome of the nation’s upcoming elections. Finland’s defense spending currently exceeds 2% GDP.

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