School Choice

By Beacon Staff
By John Fuller

The first example of support for public education in America was in Plymouth Colony in 1642.

Massachusetts’ Bay Colony citizens deemed it necessary to provide for the education of its children so they would be able “to read and understand the principles of religion and the capital laws of this country.” Two years before the adoption of the Constitution, in the Land Ordinance of 1785, one section of land out of every township was set aside to produce revenue for the schools.

The principle of all of society educating its children is as old as America.

But, since John Dewey published “The School and Social Progress” in 1899, the purpose of public education has changed from enabling children to “read and understand the principles of religion …” to Dewey’s goal of promoting public education as the most effective means to socialism. Listen closely to the language of the vested interests of public education today.

It is socialistic in rhetoric, authoritarian in methodology, and amoral in content.

Society’s obligation is to assist the education of each and every child according to their parents’ wishes. American education should NOT be molding a compliant underclass of amoral collectivists. Give parents options and support school choice.

By Joe Carbonari

There are a number of bill drafts in Helena aiming to change at least the funding if not the nature of public education here in Montana.

Charter schools and private school vouchers are mentioned prominently. Since our students rank well nationally, I’m slow to buy into the proposition that we need an overhaul. On balance, it would seem that we are getting the job done well.

I like the idea of innovation and feel that it should be encouraged.

I don’t, however, feel that it would serve our children well to divert funds from our current system to experiment with charter schools or to subsidize those that choose to educate their children privately, especially if that education is religiously based.

Religious education, of a tolerant nature, is generally positive and helpful to the establishment and maintenance of a healthy civil society, but it is highly personal in nature and does not belong, except in an objective, comparative sense, in a publically funded setting.

Rumor has it that Llew Jones’ SB175 will be the principal vehicle for educational advancement and change. Charter schools and vouchers will likely not be included. Both locally and statewide our school officials seem to approve … and so do I.

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