Last week I did something I have never done before. I attended our local public school board meeting. You will never guess the way it ended.
It all started with a flurry of emails circulating and informing homeschool parents in the area that an alarming policy change was on the table for Alachua County Public Schools. There was to be a public hearing on certain amendments to the current home education policy.
It just so happened that the proposed policy changes were in blatant violation of Florida statues. The message was simple. “We need more documentation from you. It is for your own good and the good of the taxpayers.” Sure. In addition to this, some of the local homeschool parents were being bullied and threatened by a school district employee.
So, what do you get when you upset a bevy of homeschool parents, bully a few, call into question their parental authority, and challenge the legitimacy of their curricula and homeschool play dates? You get them to take a field trip to the Tuesday night board meeting in lieu of family dinner.
When my family and I arrived, it was apparent that the alerts had been successful. The overflow room was overflowing. Parent after parent and even homeschool students stood at the podium to address the board. Speakers were polite. They were educated. They were informed. They were involved.
Before I tell you how it ended, let me state what should be obvious but is not. Public education is losing ground. It is being undermined at every turn. This is due to more than the Christian contingent. People everywhere are taking control of their children’s education. The Internet is making this possible. As time marches on, tools and information will be even more accessible. This trend will not be reversed.
Why not? Funding. The system takes gobs of money. Gobs. It inhales taxpayer money and then wastes it like any other bureaucratic welfare-state system does.
Resources flee over time from those individuals and institutions that misallocate capital. Competition eats them alive. Resources also flee over time from individuals and institutions that break God’s law. By giving the state jurisdiction over the education of our children, this is exactly what we have done over the last 300 years. We have already paid for that choice. We have more to pay. In the meantime, the institution is coming to an end.
Involved parents can now provide their children with a better education at a lower price. It can be customized to each of their unique students. It does not require that they turn their child over to a competing system of ethics. This is the issue of authority. They can retain parental authority. They pay less. They get better results. When this happens, local tax and funding initiatives will fail. It will be a beautiful thing.
So how did the meeting end? Apologies. Both the superintendent and the attorney begged the pardon of the homeschool public. The school board attorney was exposed for shoddy work. He put it in reverse, realizing that what was at stake rendered the proposal more than just a legal blunder.
Then the superintendent spoke. He was articulate and direct. “We will follow the law…Apparently we did not get the language right. This superintendent will not support any policy that will take away the rights of parents nor infringe upon those rights…I won’t get into the fact that my wife and I both homeschool…Finally I want to say that having listened, the superintendent would like to withdraw this policy as proposed.”
A homeschooling superintendent apologizes to homeschooling parents on behalf of the district.
It is game over for the current public school system. The exodus has begun. Nothing will stop it.