Parental Choice in Education


By Dave Racer, MLitt

President of Freedom’s Dream Foundation

Scripture teaches that parents are to train up their children in the way they should go. This is followed by a promise – when they are old they will not depart from it.

Culture and media pull at our children from all sides, with social media quickly becoming a substitute for parents, churches and schools. Now more than ever, parents need to be the primary source of education for their own children, but in this they need society’s support. For most children, this includes public schooling.

Over the past several decades, public schools have become government schools, guided not by parents using publicly funded education systems, but parents and children being subjected to government bureaucratic edicts. These edicts include what must be taught and must governments deem ought not to be taught.

The 1960s court-initiated prohibition of school prayer is yoked to our nation’s neglect of moral education and character formation, and its rejection of traditional civics and history instruction. Our children do not know who they are or where they come from, and they do not know where they are—or should be—going.

Value-free education of government-run schools is too often education without value. This means teaching as truth, curriculum that is politically correct and has the effect of indoctrinating of our children.

Government education uses our tax dollars to fund programs that feed our youth a low quality, crassly conformist materialism hostile to America’s greatness. Education reform today is a battleground between parents who are engaged in and concerning about the direction of education on one side, and parents who either trust governments to train up their children or see government schools as another form of child care. In any case, it robs parents of their responsibility as first educators for their own children, and undermines the people’s sovereignty, of liberty and self-government.

Parents ought to have the natural and legal right to choose what they deem to be the best course of education for their children. Taxpayers can and ought to provide funding for this education, but parents should control how and where those funds are spent. This includes parental choice of public, parochial, or private school whether secular, religious, or agnostic to either.

Children of parents who choose religious schools should allow the children to pray openly according to their religious persuasion. Teachers and administrators should be able to pray for and with their students. Schools should be free to teach all subjects in the context of their parents’ religious preferences.

The form of schooling – home schooled, chartered, traditional, religious, agnostic, even atheist – should be left to parents. Parents should decide and be held responsible for the outcomes.

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