John Stossel throws his typewriter in the ring.
Threat to homeschooling, 2 April 2008, Real Clear Politics, Chicago, Illinois
The cat is finally out of the bag. A California appellate court, ruling that parents have no constitutional right to homeschool their children, pinned its decision on this ominous quotation from a 47-year-old case, “A primary purpose of the educational system is to train schoolchildren in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare.”
There you have it; a primary purpose of government schools is to train schoolchildren “in loyalty to the state.” …
Last week, the appellate court surprised everyone by agreeing to rehear the case. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the judges “hinted at a re-evaluation of its entire Feb. 28 ruling by inviting written arguments from state and local education officials and teachers’ unions”.
On top of that, state Schools Superintendent Jack O’Connell says he thinks homeschooling is legal and favors choice in education.
That’s reasonable news. But why is education the business of government? It’s taken for granted that the state is every child’s ultimate parent, but there’s no justification for that in a free society. Parents may not be perfect — some are pretty bad — but a cold, faceless bureaucracy is no better.