By Royal Alexander/Opinion
Thus far, 21, and soon to be, 22 states, including Louisiana, have adopted some form of school choice in education.
What is behind this rapid “pro-choice” trend in education?
The China Virus pandemic—and its galactically incompetent handling by the federal government—has caused great personal, social and economic harm for millions of Americans. However, it also exposed some things that millions of American parents were not aware of regarding what, and how, their children were being “educated.”
Through the online education of their children during the pandemic, parents discovered both that many public schools have not truly educated children in decades and that today many public schools serve more as a breeding ground for indoctrination in cultural Marxism than as institutions designed to impart even the most basic knowledge of language, math, science, or history.
The indoctrination includes Critical Race Theory (CRT) which argues that America is historically and hopelessly racist and ignores the enormous legal and social advances America has made to address the sin of slavery and racism.
Educational indoctrination also includes transgender confusion policies, Drag Queen Story Hour at the local library, and curriculum and library materials containing graphic sexual content forced upon their young children in taxpayer-funded public schools.
However, when parents responded—including vocally at school board meetings, please recall the letter to Pres. Biden from the National School Boards Association referring to these concerned parents—who were already understandably frustrated with lockdowns, school closures, mandates and inappropriate educational materials and library content—as “domestic terrorists.”
Recall in the 2021 Virginia governor’s race, Democrat nominee for governor, Terry McAuliffe, slipped up and said out loud what the Left truly believes about public education and school children. “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” Think about that stunning comment. However, those are the views of the Left which firmly believes that the supreme authority in children’s lives is the state, not their parents and not God.
It’s become so insane that LA. State Rep. Raymond Crews has introduced a couple of bills, including one bill that would prevent teachers and other school employees from being forced to refer to a student by the student’s “pronoun” rather than the time-honored method of simply referring to a student by the name and/or pronoun on their birth certificate.
The cultural cesspool we live in today has contributed to gender confusion that may burden a small percentage of young people, and tragically even lead some to suicide. But the answer to that is parental engagement before medical interventions, social kindness and mental health counseling, not upending natural law and the universal understanding of gender as signifying male and female.
So, parents are now much more interested in their ability to place their children into the schools they feel are of the best quality and best for their children.
What does “school choice” really mean?
Simply, when a state adopts a school choice law it is simply deciding that its state education dollars will follow the student to his or her choice of public, private, religious or charter school, rather than going directly to the public school in his or her zip code.
This represents a tectonic shift in American public education.
The late Milton Friedman, the Nobel prize winning economist, first advanced the principle that parents, not government and not school boards, should decide where the public education funds used to educate their children will go.
Please know I don’t intend here to bash or criticize the large majority of teachers in Louisiana and across the country who are deeply committed to their jobs and try very hard to educate their students. My focus here is on the school boards and school administrators who demand that these teachers—rather than concentrate on imparting the basic knowledge that will be necessary for their students to function in our society—instead “teach” highly inappropriate topics including sexual perversion, gender identity and racial politics.
In a nutshell, the goal of school choice is education, not indoctrination.
This national trend of school choice by parents is really a reflection of nothing more than parents re-asserting their eternal primacy over the education, health and moral development of their children.
As President Reagan said, “Our leaders must remember that education doesn’t begin with some isolated bureaucrat in Washington. It doesn’t even begin with state or local officials. Education begins in the home, where it is a parental right and responsibility.”