Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W Hudson and Keith A Fournier

10/31/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

On this fifth day before the election we address another public policy position where the two candidates have profoundly divergent views - the path to educational reform

The current approach to education is failing miserably and our children are suffering. Statistics and experience confirm the obvious. It is time for a change and school choice is that change. It means affirming again, as a matter of public policy and legislation, that Parents are the ones who should be able to make the choice of how to best extend their own teaching mission outside of the home for their children.

Highlights

By Deal W Hudson and Keith A Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/31/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Catholic vote, school choice, parental choice, Romney, Ryan, Obama, Biden, educational reform, campaign 2012, Deal W Hudson, Keith A Fournier


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic online) - We are five days away from what we claim is one of the most important Presidential elections in US History. We have tried to help fellow Catholic citizens understand their vital role in shaping the future of this Nation we love through exercising their faithful citizenship. 

We have exposed the errant positions of some Catholics in public life and said, without hesitation, that one simply cannot be a faithful Catholic and hold what is euphemistically called a "pro-choice" position on abortion - or fail to defend true marriage and the family and society founded upon it.

We have discussed the difference between non-negotiable matters which concern intrinsic evils - and those areas which allow for the exercise of prudential jugment. Given their numbers, U.S. Catholics can determine the outcome of this election.

That requires us to act in a manner which is, to use words of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, "morally coherent". That phrase was used in an instruction released in 2002 entitled a "Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life".

On this fifth day before the election we address another public policy position where the two candidates have profoundly divergent views - the path to educational reform. The current overly federalized approach to the provision of education in the United States is failing miserably and our children are suffering.

Statistics and experience confirm the obvious. It is time for a change and school choice is that change. It means affirming again, as a matter of public policy and legislation, that Parents are the ones who should be able to make the choice of how to best extend their own teaching mission outside of the home for their children.

On May 23, 3012, Mitt Romney outlined his educational policy in a speech he gave in Washington, DC to the Latino Coalition. The speech  was based upon a larger policy statement contained in a white paper which explains the reforms entitled "A Chance for Every Child" which can be read in its entirety here.

Romney told the leaders "I'll be blunt, I don't like the direction of American education and, as president, I will do everything in my power to get education on track for the kids in this great land."  He said bluntly that many students in the United States receive a "third world education" and that "minority children suffer the most." 

"Too many of our kids are trapped in schools that are failing or simply don't meet their needs.  And for too long, we've merely talked about the virtues of school choice. As President, I will give the parents of every low-income and special needs student the chance to choose where their child goes to school."

"For the first time in history, federal education funds will be linked to a student, so that parents can send their child to any public or charter school, or to a private school, where permitted.  And I will make that choice meaningful by ensuring there are sufficient options to exercise it."

President Obama has not endorsed school choice. Though he reversed his earlier position opposing the Opportunity Scholarship program in Washington, DC, he has proposed an increased role for the Federal government as the path to educational reform. We disagree.  

Those who oppose school choice, such as the President and some leaders of the teachers union, call it an effort to "privatize" education. In fact, it is an effort to "Parentize" education. It affirms that that the family is the first school and first government. It insists that parents should make the choices concerning the education of their children outside of the first school of the home. 

Those who support school choice call for enabling legislation which makes it possible for all parents, no matter what their socio-economic situation, to choose where to send their children to school. This choice would be available from among a full array of options including public, private, parochial, virtual, charter and home schools.

This can be accomplished in a constitutionally sound way by empowering parents to make this vital choice through properly drafted legislation, tax credits, or opportunity scholarships. Governor Romneys position on education follows the child and is made by the parents and not the Federal Government. 

Those who oppose school choice, including President Obama, resort to scare tactics in their opposition. They argue that it will detrimentally affect the public school system and that supporters of school choice are against public schools. That are wrong on both claims. 

They propose that the overly federalized bloated bureaucracy called the Public School system should continue down the path which has led to failure. They make it sound as though the current approach to public education has always existed in American history. In reality, nothing could be further from our true history.

Public schools were first local, community schools. School choice will return the leadership of our educational approach to parents and the local community, empowered and assisted by the Federal government. It would improve the public school system as well as ensure that parents can choose the schools they want for their children. Competition in the delivery of goods and services has amazing results.

School Choice is not a threat to the Federal Government. Rather, it recognizes that all government begins in the home and applies the social ordering principle of subsidiarity. The term is derived from the Latin word "subsidium" which means help or assistance.

Subsidiarity is a social ordering principle which says that governing should begin at the smallest level first. The first government is the family. All other government should provide assistance or help to that first government - and not usurp its primary role. It favors a bottom up approach to governing and affirms the family as the first government and first school.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms the right of parents to choose a school for their children, "As those first responsible for the education of their children, parents have the right to choose a school for them which corresponds to their own convictions."
 
"This right is fundamental. As far as possible parents have the duty of choosing schools that will best help them in their task as Christian educators. Public authorities have the duty of guaranteeing this parental right and of ensuring the concrete conditions for its exercise." (CCC#2229)

The Federal Government should recognize that the family is the first government. All other government must first be at its service. In "The Role of the Christian family in the Modern World" Blessed John Paul II called for the development of a "family politics". School choice is an example of such a "family politics". 

Support for school choice affirms the right of all parents to choose where their children go to school. That choice should include the full array of options, public, private, parochial, charter and home schools, no matter what the economic status of the family. It is better for the children, better for society and more economically efficient. It is also clearly embraced in catholic teaching.

In an Apostolic Exhortation on the "Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World "Blessed John Paul II wrote, "The right and duty of parents to give education is essential, since it is connected with the transmission of human life; it is original and primary with regard to the educational role of others, on account of the uniqueness of the loving relationship between parents and children; it is irreplaceable and inalienable, and therefore incapable of being entirely delegated to others or usurped by others."

In his "Letter to Families", he wrote: "Parents are the first and most important educators of their own children, and they also possess a fundamental competence in this area; they are educators because they are parents. They share their educational mission with other individuals or institutions, such as the Church and the State."

"But the mission of education must always be carried out in accordance with a proper application of the Principle of Subsidiarity. This implies the legitimacy and indeed the need of giving assistance to the parents, but finds its intrinsic and absolute limit in their prevailing right and actual capabilities. The principle of subsidiarity is thus at the service of parental love, meeting the good of the family unit."

"For parents by themselves are not capable of satisfying every requirement of the whole process of raising children; especially in matters concerning their schooling and the entire gamut of socialization. Subsidiarity thus complements paternal and maternal love and confirms its fundamental nature, inasmuch as all other participants in the process of education are only able to carry out their responsibilities in the name of the parents, with their consent and, to a certain degree, with their authorization."

School Choice is a matter of true social justice - not sometimes masquerades as social justice. The opposition by some in the leadership of the teachers unions shows how far some of these mediating associations have strayed from their proper social role. School choice is right for our children, right for our parents and right for our Nation.

Will school choice in the United States improve the current state of our Catholic School system in the United States? Yes, it will. It will open up our schools as one of the many options for parents to choose from for their own children. We should welcome that both as Catholics and as good citizens.

We are five days away from one of the most important Presidential elections in decades. It is time for a new politics, a family politics.True Educational Reform passes through School Choice.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Politics & Policy

Hillary Clinton caught in shameful lie on family's history Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As Hillary Clinton continues to shape her platform for presidency, she is reported as boasting her family's immigration history. During one of her first speeches as an official candidate, Clinton said that "all her grandparents had immigrated to the United States," ... continue reading


Federal government sets all-time record for tax revenue Watch

Image of We will not know how much additional tax revenue the Treasury pulled in until it releases its next daily statement tomorrow afternoon. Every dollar of it will add to the new record.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Tax day has arrived - and with the close of business on April 14, the Treasury brought in a record $1,477,901,000,000 since fiscal 2015. Began on October 1, 2014, these figures are courtesy of the Daily Treasury Statement. Despite this record tax revenue, the ... continue reading


INSANE: U.S. federal tax code is 74,608 pages long! Watch

Image of If the tax code continues to grow at the same pace it did over the last century, it will pass 100,000 pages in 2050.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you had your taxes professionally prepared this year, you may now fully appreciate what your accountant or cleric did for you this year. The U.S. federal tax code is a whopping 74,608 pages long! Try to imagine trying to digest all the nuances that go along ... continue reading


'We're in uncharted territory here' U.S. official admits ISIS' reign of terror is crushing Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S.-led coalition against ISIS continues, now with 62 countries working to put an end to ISIS. Canada has become the latest country to shoot airstrikes against ISIS. The fight against ISIS is being described as "off the charts historically." LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Who are Hillary Clinton's supporters? Well not women, and not young Americans: A look into Clinton's shocking Facebook following Watch

Image of Hillary Clinton is the favored Democratic candidate for the presidency in 2016, but Facebook demographics show she may have a long way to go.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hillary Clinton is the de facto face of the Democrat party's aspirations for the presidency in 2016, but you wouldn't know that by looking at her Facebook pages. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The single largest percentage of Clinton's fans aren't even from ... continue reading


Lois Lerner emails expose secretive IRS warnings Watch

Image of The lower-level employees

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former director of Exempt Organizations Unit at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Lois Lerner is reported as warning other IRS officials to manage the lower-level employees written conversations in 2013. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Lerner resigned from the ... continue reading


Rubio steps into spotlight for 2016 run Watch

Image of Florida Senator Marco Rubio will officially announce his intent to seek the Republican nomination for the president today, following months of speculation.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The question over which Republican will be the next to announce their intent to run for the nomination in 2016 has been answered, as Marco Rubio joins Senator Ted Cruz and Rand Paul in the race which will soon be flooded with even more competitors. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


COLD WAR NO MORE? U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro meet Watch

Image of Obama and Castro greeted each other courteously amid an explosion of camera flashes Friday night. The two sat at the same table but not directly next to one another.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The United States and Cuba may not be the best of friends, but the meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro this past weekend marks a turning point in international relations. It was the first time that leaders from both ... continue reading


Putting the big bite on the top 20 percent: Unlucky few pay 84 percent of all U.S. income taxes Watch

Image of The U.S. federal income tax system is very progressive - higher income groups pay increasingly higher tax rates, and therefore disproportionately higher and higher shares of the total income taxes collected.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Who pays what in income taxes? According to a study in the Wall Street Journal, only 20 percent of all U.S. taxpayers pay 84 percent of all taxes owed. How does every day, ordinary taxpayer fit into this schema? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Individual ... continue reading


'I'm running for president' Hillary Clinton declares Watch

Image of While Hillary Rodham Clinton is courting the middle class with her presidential bid, both her and her husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton remain among the wealthiest of Americans.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion," Hillary Rodham Clinton has declared. Saying that America's economy is "still stacked in favor of those at the top," according to a campaign video this past weekend. "I'm running for ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
13 It is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 4:2, 4, 7-8, 9
2 Children of men, how long will you be heavy of ... Read More

Reading 2, First John 2:1-5
1 My children, I am writing this to prevent you from ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 19th, 2015 Image

St. Alphege
April 19: Archbishop and "the First Martyr of Canterbury." He was born in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter