Taxpayer-funded education goes by a variety of names these days, such as school vouchers, charter schools, and education savings accounts (ESAs), which different states variously call Education Freedom Accounts, Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, or Individualized Education Accounts.
These lovely names suggest a commitment to the principles of freedom and self-determination that define the homeschooling movement, but buyer beware: all that glitters is not gold.
Take No Child Left Behind: glittering name, pyrite legislation. Enacted with bipartisan support, NCLB promised to fix the substandard and ever-worsening quality of the public education system. In fact, one of the legislation’s objectives was to offer parents school choice! (Sound familiar?)
Instead, NCLB vastly expanded the federal government’s role in education while public schools continued to deteriorate and school choice was left by the wayside. Despite the glittering name, despite the promise of school choice, NCLB only eroded educational freedoms.
School choice—a.k.a. “parent choice”—funded by taxpayers’ money represents a similar bait and switch. The government offers this money to parents when they withdraw their students from the public school system, ostensibly because the money would’ve followed the students anyway. Sounds great, right?
Here’s the catch: this money is then deposited in government-authorized savings accounts—accounts subject to government oversight. And that’s where the trouble begins.
Government oversight means regulation. Regulation is the death of freedom and self-determination. Soon, you won’t be able to spend those funds according to your own wants and needs. Instead, you’ll need the government’s approval for your expenditures.
And then your home school won’t be your home school—rather, your home school will be just another government-run program in your living room.
Pyrite is called fool’s gold because it tricks people into believing it’s real gold. School choice funded by taxpayers’ money isn’t school choice at all—it’s just fool’s gold. Like No Child Left Behind, taxpayer-funded education will only undermine legitimate educational freedom.
Don’t trade your child’s future for pyrite.