School Choices

Deuteronomy 4:10b … “Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.”

Since April is the month we normally promote the ministry of Tomah Baptist Academy. I thought that I would write on a related subject of school choices. While I have tackled this subject in the past, it bears repeating and adding some thoughts. First of all school choice means different things to different people. Essentially it means allowing citizen tax-payers the freedom of choice to send their children to a state or private school, be it religious or other. The arguments against doing this are two-fold.

The first argument is that this would somehow violate the first amendments under the establishment clause. Somehow this would involve indirectly aid in establishing and teaching religion. That however doesn’t fly since we are already giving federal funds to “faith based” charity works, use of buses to transport students to and from school, allowances to be on music programs or other extra curricular activities; as well as supplemental academic courses. The other arguments opposing vouchers state that vouchers could go to fraudulent schools or pull money away from state schools. While there is a minimal amount of truth to those statements they also apply to the state schools. There are state schools that should loose their funding or be shut down. The is always the problem when there is a non competitive monopoly as our state schools and some of the unions. Thank the Lord that today the Wisconsin Supreme Court has up held the right to vouches for private and religious schools.

The real horror is looking at national statistics. America repeatedly finishes near the bottom educationally when compared to Western and developed nations. This holds true in math, science, language, literature, history (civics) or geography. There are even some developing nations on the verge of passing us up. Personally, I believe this is not only a national disgrace, but a national defense issue, as well. Our needs and answers for the future in education are complex requiring bold new (or old) answers. We need money for this but not the same old answers. Giving money to a failed system is like repairing your car’s engine with bailing wire, when a complete overhaul or a new engine is what is needed. Good teachers deserve more money and amenities of advancement etc. That will take a different system. That is why short or long term competition is essential.

All Americans pay property taxes (directly or indirectly), and have a right to see greater results with their investments. Our educational system peaked on the world system by the mid 1970’s and began a steady decline. We began replacing anything Godly with psychology and state or federal social training is sex, alternative lifestyles, or feel good socially acceptable courses.