They make much of their fight for school vouchers. The argument goes something like this…Basically in the United States we pay property taxes that go toward paying for public schools. People like me who home school or others who send their children to private schools are paying these taxes but receiving no direct benefit. Of course so are the many people who don't have children in school. The Voucher argument is that these families should receive a subsidy or voucher to then pay for the private school, charter school or whatever. It's about choice, fairness, and liberty they say and resisting the government schools and their agenda.
While I have little sympathy with the government school agenda I will suggest doing something people on the Christian Right refuse to do...often out of principle. Step into the other person's shoes for a moment, not to validate them, but to give a little larger perspective.
For many generations must modern industrialized states have successfully argued they have a compelling interest in seeing children educated. Morals aside, it's pure sociological math and demographics. Kids that aren't educated end up with lower incomes paying lower taxes, incarcerated, or on state assistance. The Conservatives at this point have many arguments regarding assistance subsidies, the prison system and many of the other issues tied in with our general social collapse... But the changes they suggest aren't minor, but a complete overhaul of large segments of society. The track they push for does not reflect present realities, and in many cases lacks historical precedent. And the past models which they sometimes wish to resurrect are not above critique either and often had their own large-scale problems. I'm talking about our previous social models with a harsher penal system, no social safety net, large portions of society completely disenfranchised and forgotten. It’s a hypothetical but many historians have argued that had Roosevelt not taken some of the steps he made in the New Deal, the United States would have seen insurrection and possible revolution before the end of the 1930’s. Something to keep in mind as we listen to those today who would just wantonly cut off large sections of society in the name of fairness. Sure it can be done, but what are the long-term consequences?
Frankly it's unlikely they're going to make those kinds of sweeping changes in the near future, in the short term. And the more they try, the more people will take to the streets. The Conservative movement may literally push the country into social collapse. Something has to be done. Our public schools have failed, but so has our society in general. The schools can only do so much.
Historically public education has worked because virtually everyone pays into it and virtually everyone participates in it. That's how it works. Again, you can look for a macro-social engineering agenda...and there's something to that, but largely it's just math.
When people start pulling out and diverting the funds, the system collapses. Our public schools are collapsing anyway. They're miserable failures and have erred greatly for many years by looking to more funding as the solution to their problems. The reality is the whole model is broken. Kids in k-12 one room school houses were more educated than our modern children with Smartboards, laptops, and all the modern methods. It's failing, and I frankly don't really care too much. But I do a little. Realistically the average American pagan isn't going to homeschool their children. Our up and coming spoiled and uneducated generation is going to be unproductive and I think we're going to see an increase in criminality and fraud as a result. Since I am to pray for the peace of Babylon, I do hope the Babylonians can come up with something, but I don't think they will.
But from the standpoint of an educator, they're in crisis mode and then all these people come along that want to start Charter Schools, Homeschool, Cyber-Schools and all the rest...AND, they want to pull money out of their already ailing system.
Of course they're going to resist. Certainly there are some crusaders in the public school system that want to get a hold of your children and teach them anti-Christian ideals, but many of them are just lost people doing the best they can. Are they arrogant? Sure, that goes with Institutionalization. You'll find it in every sphere and the Church is by no means exempt. With regard to the Educators, though I believe many are sincere and doing the best they can, that doesn't mean I'm going to send my kids to them, but I don't have to despise them and hate them either.
The irony is that historically it was Christians who made the argument for public schools. In their quest to create a uniform uni-cultural society (a Sacralist ideal if there ever was one)...it is they who initiated public schooling. Starting with the Reformation, it was Protestant countries that forged the path... Protestant ethics demanded education and Dominionism (under different guises) was aided by the education. Look at Prussia and Scotland....very Protestant countries that pushed hard in the area of education. Their cultures were different and came up with different results, but the push was there. During the optimism of the 19th century in the United States similar steps were taken.
I've written elsewhere that I don't believe for one moment if the Dominionists gained control of this country that they would permit educational liberty. Are they really going to let Muslims and others homeschool? Will they allow Leftist hippies to pull their children from Christian dominated public schools? Will they allow homosexuals to establish private schools for their kids...Blacks? Hispanics? In any of these schools they might teach a version of America history very different than the one David Barton would have us learn. They might gain a very different understanding of Civics and the US Constitution. Are they going to permit it?
Is this withdrawal a pragmatic tactic or their ultimate strategy for education and society? Are they being honest with themselves?