Again, homeschooling is implicated in a decline in a school district’s enrollment. In this instance, the parents are said to be exercising their “right to school choice.” I don’t consider homeschooling to be part of the “school choice” package.
Area schools see trend of dropping enrollment, 15 September 2008, Meadville Tribune, Meadville, Pennsylvania
There are a variety of factors that contribute to the loss of students, Superintendent Richard Rossi pointed out, but said the economy is the most significant.
“In some cases, parents are exercising their right to school choice,” Borchilo said. “They may elect to home school, home tutor or enroll them in cyber services or private or parochial schools.”
“School choice” is a technical term decribing the government education system allowing parents to enroll their children in a public school other than the school attached to the child’s geographic home. If a family lives in School District A, then (most usually) the children go to school in District A. If parents want their children to attend the schools in District B, then they make use of “school choice.”
A system cannot offer choices not under the system’s control. For example, at suppertime I can tell my children that, they can have eggs and bacon, eggs and sausage or eggs and toast because we are having an ‘eggs and …’ supper. If they say they don’t want eggs and anything, I cannot tell them to go next-door and tell the neighbors’ to give my kids some of their pizza. The pizza is not mine to offer nor theirs to demand from others. My kids can go out and buy their own pizza (or ingredients), but if they eat at the family table, then their choice is limited to ‘eggs and …’ In the example, family supper choice does not include pizza.
The state education system can offer choice within its system. If parents choose something other than public schooling, then they have left the system.
If homeschooling parents accept the pigeonholing of homeschooling as “school choice,” and not as a natural right, then the homeschooling concept will move one more baby-step back towards the view that ‘education’ is one of the services that people cannot do for themselves (such as national defense) so that it is rightly a state undertaking.