Vote for Liberty

By Lauren Gideon

A few people have asked for my recommendations for upcoming school board seats up for election. I know of some good people running, and I will give you their names in a heartbeat because I have much respect for them. However, in the spirit of full disclosure, I am convinced that school board elections are a waste of good people, time, and resources in the year 2023.

State School Snare: Incapable of Giving You the Tools Needed to Flourish

Government schools are captured on so many levels. Unfortunately, there is little chance for reform. Even if you gave the necessary people, time, and resources to the cause, the reality is that liberating education is not in a growing government’s best interest. An education that teaches the proper affection toward liberty and a proper fear of consolidated power would threaten a growing government; thus, the state schools are incapable of giving you the tools needed to flourish. The government will use its schools to propagate the expansion of itself. (This we can already see.) At this rate, how many graduating classes currently stand between where we are at now and implementing and embracing absolute socialism?

The only mechanism to stop the suppression of liberty is to defund state education and the Department of Education. However, the moment you say that out loud, you had better expect a very loud and in-your-face question from an unimaginative population that screams, “BUT WHAT WILL WE DO WITHOUT STATE EDUCATION?!?”
 
Well, the first reality is that in the state of Iowa, where I live, $3.7 billion (thanks to the latest increase due to school choice policies) will flood back into the Iowa free-market education economy. Consequently, all sorts of options become possible.

Unsatisfied, the same doubters will insist that Iowans will not fund education through any other method than coercive taxation.

This also is no cause for alarm since, historically speaking, the free market has the potential to offer a higher quality education for less than 50 percent of the cost of government education.

Self-Fund or Secure Private Funding for Education?

But the ultimate concerns from skeptics will sound something like this: “What will happen if parents won’t self-fund or secure private funding for their children’s education? Will we end up with a population of uneducated children that will be a liability to our state? Consequently, it must be in our state’s best interest to fund and force government education on children.”

This question is powerful because it shows the true colors of our culture and reveals our flawed presumptions:

1. We presume that the state cares more for children than their parents.

2. We presume that the state is responsible for parental failures.

3. Finally, we reveal that we would rather trust our mechanisms of control than embrace the responsibility of freedom.

Because of this reality, the economics of the issue do not really matter.

Freedom Is a Dangerous Currency

Freedom is an invitation to responsibility, but it allows for the opportunity to embrace or reject that responsibility. Freedom does not protect from failure. The question has to be asked: do our states even want freedom? Does our nation? The Proverbs speak of two women, Lady Folly and Lady Wisdom, and the choice to be made. Similarly, in our modern context, there are also two women: Lady Liberty and the Lady “Nanny.” This choice is more fundamental than any political party, as the siren call from Lady Nanny beckons all. She whispers empty promises of safety and security and blinds us to the opportunity and blessings found with Lady Liberty.

Vote for Liberty

When election day arrives, there will be choices. Step one is to vote for candidates that are appropriately shutting out the Nanny’s calls. Step two, after election day, will you build relationships in your community and with those that represent you? Will you advocate for Liberty and warn against the deceptive promises of the Nanny?

Lauren Gideon is the Director of Public Relations and Affairs for Classical Conversations. She co-leads and teaches through an organization committed to raising citizenship IQ on U.S. founding documents. She and her husband homeschool their seven children on their small acreage, where they are enjoying their new adventures in homesteading.

National Homeschool Day of Prayer Today!

By Lauren Gideon

“. . . she couldn’t see the forest for the trees.”

Pray, Pray, and Pray Some More

If you are a mom like me, homeschooling is not new to your family’s rhythm. My oldest is a senior, and I have been his primary teacher since he was born. Right now, my prayers naturally turn toward asking for wisdom for this new season and what lies ahead for him and our relationship. I also naturally pray through the changes our family has been going through this last year and the changes still to come. I pray over the new events and trials for others in my life. I pray for the “new trees.”

In the forest of my life, sometimes I lose sight of what’s going on around me because it all looks the same. Most people have heard of nose blindness to the smells we’ve become accustomed to, but could there be a blindness to the consistent rhythms of our lives? My cousin once told me of a lady she knew who would literally stand in the bread aisle and pray over which loaf of bread to buy. That has never been my style, but could there be a chance that I am missing out on paying attention to and praying for the things that aren’t new, the things I find ordinary?

Today is National Day of Prayer

That is where my thoughts took me when I learned of Homeschool Freedom’s National Homeschool Day of Prayer. Here is the list of ideas this organization suggests should inform your prayers.

PLEASE JOIN US AND OTHER HOMESCHOOLERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY AS WE:

  • Give thanks for the freedom we have to homeschool our children,
  • Pray for homeschooling families in your own nation and around the world,
  • Pray for upcoming elections and the impact they may have on homeschooling,
  • Pray for your state’s homeschool organization and its leaders,
  • Pray for your elected officials to recognize that the education of children is the responsibility of the parents, not that of the nation,
  • Pray for your own family—your homeschooling journey and the Lord’s guidance as you take that journey, your relationships with one another, your own children and their futures, as well as seeking ways your family can minister to others,
  • Rejoice in God’s mercy and His faithfulness in all things.

If you’re like me, it’s good to have these reminders to help us see what we have become accustomed to seeing. If you are reading this, I’m praying for you, too. Wherever you are in your homeschooling journey, I pray that you will see the tiny miracles of grace happening in yourself and in the lives around you, that you won’t take a single school day (which is every day) for granted, and that you will invest each moment for the sake of the kingdom and for the smile of your Father.

Head over to Homeschool Freedom’s Facebook page today for additional prayer prompts and live guests.

Lauren Gideon is the Manager of Grassroots Advocacy for Classical Conversations. She co-leads and teaches through an organization committed to raising citizenship IQ on U.S. founding documents. She and her husband homeschool their seven children on their small acreage, where they are enjoying their new adventures in homesteading.

Colorado Homeschool Freedom Prayer Update

By Carolyn Martin

“The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord is avenging and wrathful; the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies. The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.”

Nahum 1:2–3 ESV

The Lord sees all that we are dealing with and will by no means let it go unjudged. As I try to prepare for the next session, the storm clouds continue to build on the horizon. The power of those legislators holding a Marxist worldview is growing, and the rhetoric against God’s created order continues to confound reason. Meanwhile, I can only sit by and watch as those advocating for the growth of government through private-public partnerships as a way to disrupt the status quo in education build their kingdom which is antithetical to His kingdom. Yet, God’s power is greater, and His way is in the whirlwind and the storm!

There is no doubt a storm is coming, bringing destruction in its clouds. The exact characteristics of the storm remain hazy. Knowing the Lord is in the midst of the storm gives assurance to all who trust in His way. Yet, to stand on the edge of the storm as the winds howl and push against your resolve can be overwhelming. I am thankful that God has each of you praying for me, for His will to be done, and for the protection of His people. I am even more grateful that He allows me to meet many of you and thank you in person for upholding me and having a heart for the work He has me doing even when we can’t see the results.

Please continue to pray that I will be guided by His hand and remain steadfast in following His way as the storm clouds strengthen and build.

PRAISE!

  1. Praise God that He is IN the whirlwind and the storm!
  2. Praise God that He is trustworthy.

PRAY!

  1. Pray that God will allow me to speak the words He has ordained and those who hear them will listen.
  2. Pray that God will call more people to come to the Capitol to pray!
  3. Pray for the Lord to raise up an army to counter the lies spoken in His name.
  4. Pray for the hearts of the legislators God has called to the Capitol to be strengthened by His mighty power.
  5. Pray for His wisdom to be revealed to His people in order to overcome what is to come.
  6. Pray that God will protect His people from the repercussions of bad laws.
  7. Pray for His love to overwhelm those working at the Capitol who are seeking Him.
  8. Pray for God’s grace to abound and that the Senate will give us a room to pray in at the Capitol.

Action Items:

  1. Encourage everyone you know to vote. Ballots go out beginning October 16th. Read my most recent blog post on voting this ballot here and follow the links!
  2. Consider joining the CHEC Legislative District Connection (LDC)! I need people throughout Colorado who will commit to making connections with YOUR legislators. Legislators are more apt to listen to their constituents, who can actually impact whether they get elected again or not. We meet via Zoom on the first Monday night of every month to discuss what’s going on at the Capitol and learn about all things dealing with the legislature. Sign up here.

Carolyn Martin is the Director of Government Relations for Christian Home Educators of Colorado (CHEC). She and her husband, Todd, began homeschooling their three children in upstate New York before moving to Colorado in 2004. Her passion is to see homeschooling remain free from government intrusion for future generations.

URGENT: Romeike Family Facing Deportation

From Classical Conversations & HSLDA

Within our organization there is unanimous conviction that all people have a right, not just a priviledge, to educate their children freely, without any intervention by state or any other organizations. One such family – The Romeike’s – fled Germany to the United States to exercise this freedom, but are now facing deportation.

The Romeike’s need your help, and they need it FAST. Please see the following message from our friends at HSLDA below, contact your Representative, and sign the petition.

The Romeike family fled Germany for the United States in 2008 seeking asylum so that they could homeschool their children without fear of persecution. After more than a decade of making the United States their home, the Romeike’s were abruptly informed they had four weeks to return to Germany.

Tennessee Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger has introduced private bill H.R. 5423 to stop this deportation from happening and make the Roeikes eligible for an immigrant visa or permanent resident status.

But the Romeikes also need your help!

Please take just a moment to ask your congressional representative to intervene on their behalf. It’s as easy as filling out this form.

HELP NOW

Rallying support for the Romeike family and H.R. 5423 is so important—we need voices from both sides of the aisle speaking out for them.

Will you stand with the Romeikes and ask your representative to support H.R. 5423?

As always, thank you for your continued support of homeschool families and homeschool freedom!

HSLDA passionately advocates for the freedom to homeschool and offers support for every stage of your homeschool journey. To learn more about HSLDA, and various legal issues facing homeschool families, please visit herhttps://hslda.org/e.

Michigan Capitol Day: October 4, 2023

Capitol Days, Legislative Days, Homeschool Days at the Capitol, and other similar events foster communication between parents and their elected representatives. This is a great opportunity for you to teach your children the importance of the legislative process and help them mature into civic leaders who will protect American freedoms.

Next month, on October 4, Michigan families will be able to convene at the Capitol for Day at the Dome to grow and engage the legislative process.

To find out how you can participate, please contact the Michigan Christian Homeschool Network for more information.

To find out more about your state’s upcoming the Freedom Action Center Days at the Capitol Schedule.

7 Resources to Help You Rethink School Choice

By Edward Murray

For some time now, school choice has been a hot topic—and honestly, in my opinion, for good reason. I’m a product of government-funded schooling, and I’ve been a harsh critic of the institution since before I even started having kids.

I Am Not Binding Consciences or Condemning

Now let me clarify as I’ve done before:

I am in no way trying to condemn or bind anyone’s conscience here.

I am in no way saying you are in sin for choosing public schooling, and I am not condemning your reasons for doing so.

I think there are many well-intentioned families out there who attend public schools (I know and have been impacted by many), and it’s ok to disagree.

But There are Many Issues to Consider

However, there are many issues (historical, systemic, and immanent) with public-funded schools, and many states are looking for more ways to offer people a way out. Ergo, many families are eager to receive government funding to move into other educational options.

Hopefully, at least at this point, you see the irony of leaving government-funded schools for the opportunity to attend government-funded schools . . .

In short, “school choice” (i.e., using taxpayer state funds to pay for private education [especially homeschooling]) is worth rethinking. To aid you in this process, here are 7 resources on the topic you should consider:

1. Parental Rights vs. Government Responsibility – Where to Draw the Line with William Estrada

(Spotify)

2. ESAs: What You Need to Know with Israel Wayne

(Spotify)

3. Educational Choice vs. School Choice with E. Ray Moore

(Spotify)

4. Educational Vouchers v. Free Market Education, with Leigh Bortins

(Spotify)

5. I Run a Private School and am Against School Vouchers. Here’s Why (Article)

6. School Choice and Your Child’s Tuition (Article)

7. Vouchers: Sheckles with Shackles (Free pdf)

Edward Murray currently serves as Manager of Special Projects & Policy Research for Classical Conversations and The Homeschool Freedom Action Center. He is a native of Augusta, GA, and an alumnus of Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC, where he earned his MDiv. He currently lives in Newport News, VA, with his wife and three children.

Independence

By Lauren Gideon

It is that time of year again. Grills are lit, parades are attended, and picnics and fireworks have brought families and communities together. July 4th elicits my mixed sentiments. Inevitably, we are drawn into the topic of comparison. Side by side, we attend to the world leading up to 1776 and the world in which we now reside. How are they the same; how are they different?

In years prior, I had feelings of reluctance to celebrate the historic overthrow of tyranny when it seemed our own generation’s tides of control were on the rise. My frustrations were aimed metaphorically far, far away at vague, distant targets of politicians, invasive policies, and oppressive enforcement agencies. Tyranny, freedom, independence; as I turn these ideas over and over in my mind, ideas and words take on different flavors. We all inherited the paradigm we live in, and sometimes we do not realize the layers and connections to the foundation we stand on and live in. So, join me in this thought exercise.

Directly or Indirectly Opposed to Tyranny?

If the War for Independence truly was what it claimed to be, the war was in opposition to tyranny, but not directly. Tyranny is more directly the inverse of freedom. The word “freedom” is a math word. It is most similar to the idea of zero. The only way to define zero is to say what it is not. You can have zero money, zero time, zero belongings, but without a unit of measurement, zero is an extremely abstract concept. Freedom is this same idea of zero. It is the articulation of zero chains, zero oppression, zero infringements, zero force, zero fraud. Freedom is a big beautiful nothing!

What is Independence?

So then, what is independence? And how is it related? To understand and appreciate independence, we must also attend to its inverse as well. If independence is what we love, the inverse is the threat to that object of our love. Some have even postulated that we have an obligation to hate the thing that is a threat to what we love. And what is this imminent threat? Dependency.

The founding generation were students of historical patterns. They realized that these lines run parallel. To be free, one could not be dependent. Thus, they reluctantly resolved to pursue, teach, and propagate independence as their door to freedom.  

The scary reality is that the path they walked has room for two-way traffic. If independence is the path toward freedom, dependency is the path back toward tyranny and totalitarianism. So, what does state dependency look like? In its simplest form, it is the public’s tolerance of the use of collective, regulated resources to supply individual needs. Our generation’s oversight is that the threat of dependency is not fresh in our minds. We have grown ignorant, distracted, apathetic, and negligent in keeping our guard up against the threat of dependency. Ideas of entitlement, “school choice,” “public-private partnership,” subsidies, and government grants are all modern manifestations of our collective, tacit-yet-obvious approval of state dependency.

Being opposed to dependency does not carry the same exciting, unifying battle cry that “opposing the tyrants” offers. Why is that? It is easy to oppose some ugly dragon in a castle far, far away. It is much more difficult to come to terms with the tiny, toxic terrors living in our own hearts and communities. This breed of dragons pokes its little head out on Election Day when we vote for the most benevolent Caesars promising to open the coffers and fund the voter or the voter’s pet project with the collective’s treasury. With each locus in which we tolerate this level of state “partnership,” we are actually surrendering more and more real estate from the domain of the free to the domain of the captured. Sure, the cost of independence is expensive, but what is the value of freedom? And what should we be willing to pay to expand and preserve it for generations to come?

Lauren Gideon is the Manager of Grassroots Advocacy for Classical Conversations. She co-leads and teaches through an organization committed to raising citizenship IQ on U.S. founding documents. She and her husband homeschool their seven children on their small acreage, where they are enjoying their new adventures in homesteading.

Timeshares and Education

By Lauren Gideon 

Many people in America own timeshares or at least have been to one of those awful presentations. The concept is simple. Merriam-Webster defines a timeshare as “an agreement or arrangement in which parties share the ownership of or right to use property (as a resort condominium) and that provides for occupation by each party especially for periods of less than a year.”

The concept at hand regards how investors share ownership and rights to property. For many Americans, this is a tolerable relationship where all parties get pages of fine print and give their informed consent.

Does Joint Ownership Actually Exist?

Here is my question, though: Does joint ownership actually exist? In 1828, in the first edition of Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language, ownership was defined as “property; exclusive right of possession; legal or just claim or title.”

The difference here is collective ownership vs. individual ownership. They sound similar, but they are, in fact, mutually exclusive. Once a collective owns something, the individual does not. And once an individual owns something, then the collective does not have ownership.

Culturally, we like the concept of collective ownership. Why? Vacations are both valuable and expensive. They are genuinely valuable to relationships, to mental health, toward stepping away from life to gain perspective, to see new places, and to gain education.

So many good things come from vacations. If time and money allow, one could say vacations are essential. For most families, the friction does not come from whether we should take a vacation but from the question: “How are we going to pay for a vacation?”

Enter the timeshare industry, which has capitalized on the strain between the value of vacation vs. the expense. The presentations capitalize on this tension and propose a solution: shared ownership. This proposal stems from the relationship between investing and ownership. (I don’t know of any timeshare holder that actually thinks they have exclusive right of possession).

A Multiplicity of Ownership Means No Individual Ownership

This leads me to my point: a multiplicity of ownership means no individual ownership. Collective owners or investors are merely stakeholders. They each have a vote and a voice, but they are still subject to the collective’s will.

The stakeholder relationship works in many common relationships where responsible parties can tolerate giving up individual ownership. Roads, city ordinances, and vacation abodes are some of our collectively shared possessions.

But what about those central responsibilities we possess? When is deferring to the stakeholder option an abdication of responsibility? For instance, scripture indirectly warns about having outside stakeholders in a marriage (Gen. 2:24). No outsider should have a vote in your marriage. The couple answers to God alone; therefore, it is imperative that they do not sell out to other investors that do not share in their unique and personal responsibility.

This same idea can apply to very private matters of the human experience. As James Madison said,

          “More sparingly should this praise be allowed to a government, where a man’s religious rights are violated by penalties, or fettered by tests, or taxed by a hierarchy. Conscience is the most sacred of all property; other property depending in part on positive law, the exercise of that, being a natural and inalienable right. To guard a man’s house as his castle, to pay public and enforce private debts with the most exact faith, can give no title to invade a man’s conscience which is more sacred than his castle, or to withhold from it that debt of protection, for which the public faith is pledged, by the very nature and original conditions of the social pact.

To summarize, there should be no stakeholders in someone’s religion or conscience. Madison repeatedly warned against trampling the private property (exclusive, individual ownership) of someone’s conscience.

How Do We Categorize Our Family’s Education?

Here is our closing question. How do we categorize our family’s education? Is it common or sacred? Is it public or private? Referring back to the vacation dilemma—education is also an essential commodity. It is more essential than a vacation, and given our budget limitations, the appeal to invest with multiple investors is strong.

The unfortunate consequence with outside investors is that—by definition—you have forfeited exclusive ownership. Individual ownership and collective ownership are mutually exclusive. Moreover, stewardship of your family’s education belongs to you at the end of the day. It cannot be outsourced. Our ownership in this field is sacred, and we all bear personal responsibility. This is the message we should aim to communicate to future generations.

            Romans 12:2–3: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

Lauren Gideon is the Manager of Grassroots Advocacy for Classical Conversations. She co-leads and teaches through an organization committed to raising citizenship IQ on U.S. founding documents. She and her husband homeschool their seven children on their small acreage, where they are enjoying their new adventures in homesteading.

School Choice and Your Child’s Tuition

by Edward Murray

School choice has been a debated topic for many years, and while you may be thinking it’s a good thing, there are compelling reasons to reconsider. Although it is sometimes difficult to determine causation from correlation, there is the potential-future issue of inflating tuition rates due to state funding. Consider St. Paul Catholic school in St. Petersburg, Florida, which recently explicitly stated that they would raise the price of admission with the new voucher program. 

Florida’s new voucher law allows private schools to boost revenue

On the face of it, one would think that state funding to aid families’ migration to the free market would be a positive. Of course, from that statement alone, it’s obvious that anything state-funded can’t be free market; these are diametrically opposed ideas. But just for argument’s sake, let’s consider with the prevailing idea that more money given yields more opportunity for choice.

Wouldn’t this bring costs down? Likewise, shouldn’t all U.S. families be on board with vouchers, ESAs, tax-credits and the like?

For some time now, many in the home and private school world have been sounding the alarm on these so-called school-choice policies. The primary issue raised concerns parental autonomy vs. state accountability (tantamount to coerced regulation). Let’s face it, when any policy is put on the books for spending, rarely does the growth of regulation shrink or go away. It typically grows. Regulation always follows funding.


For more on funding and regulation:

“I Run a Private School and am Against School Vouchers. Here’s Why.” By Marsha Familiaro Enright.

“ESAs: What You Need to Know with Israel Wayne.” Refining Rhetoric, Episode 31. Feb. 1, 2023.


And we want it that way, right? If the government is going to spend our tax dollars, don’t we want them to track the money and assure us it is spent responsibly? Again, this regulation over parental choice is the very reason why private options exist.

State-Funded ‘Choice’ Will Inevitably Inflate the Cost of Private Education

However, there is another principle that private educators warn of: State-funded “choice” will inevitably inflate the cost of private education.

Consider the fact that all organizations need money to sustain their work, whether for the short or the long-term. As long as decisions don’t sink the buyability of a product, given the opportunity, companies will consider how better to fund their work.

This is exactly what is happening with St. Paul Catholic in Florida. After Gov. DeSantis (R) signed into law the state’s newest voucher program, representatives of the school stated, “…we decided that we need to take maximum advantage of this dramatically expanded funding source.”

“So instead of paying $6,000 per child, families at the school who are St. Paul parish members will now be charged $10,000 per child. Nonmembers will be charged $12,000 per child, instead of $7,000. Discounts for multiple-student families will be eliminated. Based on those numbers, and factoring in the $4,000 tuition increase, St. Paul could bring in nearly $1 million more in the school year starting this fall. Voucher critics said the decision was predictable, and expected more private schools to follow suit…”

Of course, one might argue that this still mitigates the cost of the program (likely only to aid families who can still afford it), and this would be true… at least for the present. However, keep in mind the annual increases in private K-12 and higher education.

From my experience working in higher ed. (public and private) …not only does tuition tend to increase every year, but institutional administrators always also factor in going rates for other similar institutions competitive in the same fields. Also, keep in mind that it isn’t necessarily popular to gravitate towards the cheaper education option. Rather, many opt for the more expensive programs because cost often indicates quality (i.e., people reason, “the greater the cost, the better the education”).

Moreover, even if tuition doesn’t appear to increase on the surface, an increase in tuition paid might occur even if the sticker face remains unchanged. These increased, hidden dollars are typically reflected in other ancillary fees and like charges.

Currently, it can be a little hard to examine the U.S. statistics due to the infancy of these programs.[1] However, many who claim that there is no data for inflation should rather backtrack that notion.  Barnum notes that some school choice programs (ones with unrestricted subsidies) “lead to price increases yet no change in enrollment…” He continues, “…private schools did not admit additional students, but did raise tuition — by an amount the researchers estimated to be roughly the same as the public subsidy.”[2]

Consider Ty Rushing who recently reported how Iowa’s private schools hiked their tuitions in response to Gov. Kim Reynold’s (R) voucher-ESA plan.

“While some private schools introduced minimal tuition increases—Holy Trinity Catholic School in Fort Madison increased tuition by less than a percent for parish members and about 3% for non-parish members—others swung for the fences including one Dubuque school that increased tuition by 40%, or an Anamosa school that literally doubled tuition.[3]

Of course, I don’t blame them for wanting to better their programs, increase their functionality and provide adequate salaries for teachers. But one can’t deny the obvious connection. Brian Mudd (who denies the connection) even argues,

“In attempting to discern what the impact of school vouchers may mean for tuition rates it’s helpful to see how much capacity there is within the existing private schools as it’s unlikely rates would be increased unless they’re at capacity with demand outstripping supply.”[4]

Yet, this is exactly the state of hundreds of private institutions needing to make ends meet.

At the end of all this, maybe St. Paul’s decision doesn’t seal the deal for many to correlate state funds and increasing tuition. Yet, the argument is not without warrant. It is worth everyone’s consideration, especially those who grasp the current political climate, who understand the dangers of our ever-increasing debt, and who are concerned with expanding government overreach (which is embedded in all our collective COVID-19 trauma).

Holly Bullard, Chief Strategy Officer for Florida Policy Institute, states, “Tuition is going to keep increasing, because they’re going to keep raising the voucher amount.” With many raising the alarm, we should all heed the caution and prepare for tax increases to pay for these schemes.


[1] Hungerman and Rinz (Notre Dame and NBER) cite a study by Angrist, Bettinger, Bloom, King, and Kremer (2002), who find that winning a lottery in Bogot ́a for a voucher worth $190 raised average private school tuition and fees by $52, so that every dollar of voucher funding raised tuition and fees by about 27 cents, close to what the point estimate here suggests (vouchers worth $820 per user on average increase per-student revenue by $280 at baseline, or about 34 cents per dollar spent on vouchers).

[2] Barnum, Matt, Do vouchers actually expand school choice? Not necessarily — it depends on how they’re designed.” Chalkbeat, June 20, 2017. https://www.chalkbeat.org/2017/7/30/21107261/do-vouchers-actually-expand-school-choice-not-necessarily-it-depends-on-how-they-re-designed

[3] Rushing, Ty, “Kim Reynold’s Private School Voucher Plan Led to Tuition Hikes.” Iowa Starting Line, May 12, 2023. https://iowastartingline.com/2023/05/12/kim-reynolds-private-school-voucher-plan-led-to-tuition-hikes/

[4] Mudd, Brian, “Q&A: Will Florida’s Universal School Choice Plan Raise Tuition Rates?” News Radio WJNO, iHeart.com. May 28, 2023. https://wjno.iheart.com/featured/brian-mudd/content/2023-03-28-qa-will-floridas-universal-school-choice-plan-raise-tuition-rates/

Edward Murray currently serves as Manager of Special Projects & Policy Research for Classical Conversations and The Homeschool Freedom Action Center. He is a native of Augusta, GA, and an alumnus of Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC where he earned his M.Div. He currently lives with in Newport News, VA with his wife and three children.

Brushfires of Freedom

By Carolyn Martin

[Reprinted from the CHEC Homeschool Update, Volume 2, Issue #116, 2023. 720-842-4852. CHEC.org]

“It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” — Samuel Adams

Early in our nation’s history, brushfires of freedom sustained our independence from a tyrannical empire. Other brushfires throughout our history brought forward a civil war, women’s suffrage, civil rights, abortion rights, marriage rights, and, more recently, gender rights. Not all these brushfires fulfilled the desired rallying cry of freedom because they were not grounded in God’s righteousness.

Today, a brushfire is sweeping across the nation calling itself “school choice.” A majority of state legislatures introduced bills this year to establish programs to fund private schools and home education.

Not a True Choice

In the early years of the homeschool movement, a spark grew into a brushfire of freedom in large part because families were willing to sacrifice for the cause. For the Christians in the movement, God’s command to disciple their children was the central driving force. They saw clearly the trajectory of the government schools and its goal of stealing the souls of their children. Despite the real threat of being imprisoned, following God was not an option; it was the only choice.

Purveyors of the school choice movement are trying to convince homeschoolers that government money provides a way for families to choose the best education for their children. But what they’re selling is a false choice. All the choices they are presenting will be ruled by government bureaucrats. We all inherently know: what the government funds, the government runs.

Most of the “school choice” bills introduced this year include bigger government and increased regulations for private and home educators who choose to accept taxpayer funds. Big, new government bureaucracies in partnership with private entities are built to manage the oversight of the funding. Requirements for homeschoolers using the funding often include frequent meetings with certified teachers, usage of curriculum tied to state standards, and yearly testing. Basically, it’s public school at home. A choice we’ve already rejected.

True Brushfires of Freedom

It is time to rekindle the sparks that began the homeschool movement some fifty years ago and revive the brushfire of educational freedom. Government-funded programs will never bring God’s truth to bear on the realities of this world. Brushfires begin within each heart and mind that is set on the truth of God’s Word. Jesus set us free and gave us liberty; it is this truth that God commands us to set ablaze in our children.

School choice advocates are relying on the greed of man to propel their cause. Politicians, nonprofits, and governments benefit from the enlargement of the government-funded and run education system and the number of people growing dependent on it. Yet, our cause rests in the humility of utter reliance on God for our very breath and a growing awe of who He is. The time has come to set afresh the brushfire that first brought us freedom and to lead others — especially our children — to the liberty found only in Jesus.

Carolyn Martin, CHEC’s Director of Government Relations, and her husband, Todd, began homeschooling their three children in upstate New York before moving to Colorado in 2004. Her passion is to see homeschooling remain free from government intrusion for future generations.

To learn more about Christian Home Educators of Colorado, please visit CHEC.org.