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 June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


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


Comments


More Politics & Policy

Supreme Court 'unwrote laws of nature' GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee declares Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Saying that the Supreme Court tried to "unwrite the laws of nature and the laws of nature's God" when it legalized gay marriage across the nation last week, GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee also pointed out the fact that President Barack Obama himself ... continue reading


'They will stand behind lying Brian Williams, but won't stand behind people that tell it like it is': Donald Trump fired from NBC for controversial immigrant statements Watch

Image of Donald Trump retired from The Apprentice after announcing his presidential bid.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

NBC has made the decision to cut ties with Donald Trump, over his political view and controversial statements regarding immigration made during his presidential announcement. Donald Trump and NBC have had a relationship, including Trump's produced Miss USA and Miss ... continue reading


When is the best time to take out Social Security? Watch

Image of 100-year-old woman.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Financial advisers usually advice their clients to take Social Security benefits at the age of 70 for maximum growth. However, it is found that most people don't take that advice, as they are likely to withdraw what they have saved up as soon as they hit retirement. A ... continue reading


IT'S NOT OVER: Freedom of Religion may trump same-sex marriage victories Watch

Image of

By Matt Hadro and Adelaide Mena, CNA/ETWN News

Friday's Supreme Court ruling against the traditional understanding of marriage may pose huge obstacles to the free exercise of religion and conscience across the U.S., the nation's bishops have said in response to the decision. Washington D.C.(CNA/EWTN News) - ... continue reading


Decisions on same-sex marriage, power-plant emissions now in the hands of Supreme Court Watch

Image of Six major cases, all of them affecting the American Way of Life are in front of the Supreme Court.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Six major cases, all of them affecting the American Way of Life are in front of the Supreme Court. Decisions regarding same-sex marriages, power plant emissions and execution methods will all be rendered by either Friday or early next week. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett's family has strong communist roots, files prove Watch

Image of Valerie Jarrett's father, pathologist and geneticist Dr. James Bowman, has been found to have had extensive ties to Communist associations and individuals.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Does the apple truly fall far from the tree? Recently uncovered files show that Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to U.S. President Barack Obama and trusted confidant has family ties with those with communist leanings. These uncovered files prove that Jarrett's ... continue reading


Donald Trump surges in popularity polls in New Hampshire Watch

Image of Dismissed by political professionals, who view him as little more than a

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Dismissed by political professionals, who view him as little more than a "novelty candidate," there's no denying Donald Trump's surge in popularity in opinion polls in New Hampshire. The billionaire developer and reality TV show star comes in at second among ... continue reading


Terrorists who pose as journalists will no longer have protection from the U.S. new Pentagon manual states Watch

Image of The new manual from the pentagon is designed to reflect the fact that many fighters do not wear military uniforms or pretend to be trusted civilians to hit targets.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Pentagon has released new instructions on dealing with terrorists, or more specifically, terrorists who pose as journalists or journalists who work with terrorist groups. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The "Department of Defense Law of War Manual" is a ... continue reading


Offensive or not? University of California issues bizarre speech police to tell you what not to say Watch

Image of The University of California administration issues handout that recommend students refrain from using some words.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

University of California is providing suggestions on what to say and what not to say within the campus grounds. However, the words and statements they deem as offensive, sexist and racist are not simply explicit words with direct negative connotations. According to ... continue reading


President Obama applauds Pope Francis' stance on climate change Watch

Image of Pope Francis will be traveling to the United States September for the first time. His itinerary begins in Washington, where he will meet Obama and speak at Congress.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

United State President Barack Obama has lauded Pope Francis' encyclical,  "Laudato Si," and says he wants fellow world leaders to acknowledge its message about climate change. Published last week, the encyclical calls for humanity to change its approach to ... 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 12:1-11
1 It was about this time that King Herod started ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
2 I will praise Yahweh from my heart; let the humble ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 16:13-19
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi ... Read More

Reading 2, Second Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18
6 As for me, my life is already being poured away as ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for June 29th, 2015 Image

St. Peter, First Pope
June 29: Simon Peter or Cephas, the first pope, Prince of the Apostles, ... 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