I’ve been reading a great deal lately about how the conservative right and the Libertarians want to get rid of public education. After all – that’s not where our government belongs! How dare they want an educated populous! How dare every child, rich or poor, have a chance at an education! It’s all just a waste of taxpayer money. The schools are a drain on the economy, don’tcha know?
“But Steph,” one Libertarian tells me. “With private education schools will have to compete for excellence! The schools will be better!”
Yeah — maybe they will be. But you’re forgetting a crucial part of that equation. Money. The parents who send their kids to private schools need to be able to afford to do so. If they cannot – their child will not get an education and what eventually happens is you have a largely uneducated populous ripe for cheap labor camps. The United States of China anyone?
Most of my friends with children can barely afford keeping their kids in the public schools now. They struggle to buy school supplies and pay all the school fees every year. And if they have more than one kid – yikes! Not to mention they often have to pay for daycare, too. Most working parents have to pay for after-school daycare, too! So seriously? How the hell are they supposed to afford private school?
“Well, that’s why mothers need get back into the home to raise their children and home school,” one Christian friend told me.
While I agree that homeschooling is an option our modern world often requires both parents to work in order to raise a family. And in a lot of cases, homeschooling is worse than public education because not all parents and not all students are cut out for homeschooling. I knew one woman who home schooled her twin daughters and not only were the girls still wearing diapers at ages five and six, but when the state finally got involved (when the girls were eight-years-old), they discovered both of them were, educationally speaking, at a Kindergarten level. This is what happens when unqualified parents homeschool (or become parents). On the flip side of that I have met home schooled kids who are performing at or above grade level. So I don’t know that homeschooling is really an option for everyone. Some, most certainly. But not all.
It is truly the fall of a civilization when we start talking about eliminating the equal opportunity for education in favor of a system that caters to the privledged and wealthy. When we do that – we turn future generations of working class and the poor into uneducated, easy to control, soldiers and cheap labor for their wealthy masters.