Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Keith A. Fournier

7/24/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

This educational solution is winning the support of leaders from both major parties, as well as the hearts and minds of families all over America

Some opponents allege that supporters of parental or school choice want to privatize education. In fact, it is an effort to Parentize education, by affirming that the family is the first school and first government and parents are the first teachers. Parents and not federal bureaucrats should make the choices concerning the education of their children outside of the first school of the home. We need public servants like E.W. Jackson who affirm, 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.

EW Jackson, Republican candidate for the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia

EW Jackson, Republican candidate for the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia

Highlights

By Keith A. Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/24/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: E.W. Jackson, Ken Cucinelli, Terry McAuliffe, Virginia, school choice, parental choice, home schools, vouchers, tuition credits, charter schools, Keith A Fournier


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - I write as a private citizen. I also write as a Virginian. The race to succeed Governor Bob McDonnell in my home State of Virginia is becoming the focus of growing National attention. This past weekend brought the first debate between the Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli and the Democratic nominee, Terry McAuliffe. The heated debate took place in Hot Springs, Virginia. The name was appropriate. It was hot.

This will be one of the most carefully watched election contests.  It is seen as a bellwether to many who seek to read the tea leaves on the upcoming midterm elections. However, as is the case in some boxing and martial arts matches, I suggest that the undercard, the race for Lieutenant Governor, is even more instructive.

I have made no secret of my friendship with the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, E.W. Jackson. He is a genuine evangelical Protestant Christian and I believe he is right on the issues which matter most.  He was the David in a modern day David and Goliath political struggle in his campaign for the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor. He electrified the Republican nominating convention with his speech and upset the Republican establishment. I was glad.

He is inspiring crowds around the Commonwealth with his oratory, and his common sense positions. However, it should be no surprise that many in the propaganda media do not share my admiration for this good man. They engage in petty efforts to paint him as an 'extremist' because he recognizes the fundamental human right to life of our youngest neighbors in the womb and openly supports marriage as between one man and one woman.

But now comes the latest allegation of his "extremism" from  the propaganda media. They are appalled that he actually thinks parents should be the ones to choose how to best educate their own children - and that such a choice should include homeschooling as an alternative. He is correct and they are simply revealing that they are stuck in the past. 

An article in the Washington Post last week noted that Jackson's opponent considers his support of homeschooling in his support of parental choice in education as a part of a "dangerous agenda." I suggest this is just one more indication of the true importance of this election in the struggle for new ideas. The issue of parental choice in education is gaining support across the Nation.  The American Federation for Children and the Alliance for School Choice provide a helpful map which shows the momentum in this movement.

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 parental (school) choice is that change. It is time to move beyond the stale rhetoric and ineffective top down federal educational programs and enact real educational Reform in the United States. We need an educational revolution and not the rearranging of chairs on the Titanic.

I use the term parental choice in education when advocating for this reform for good reason. So does EW Jackson. The term recognizes that parents are the first teachers. Therefore, they should be the ones who make the choice where to expand their teaching mission for their own children. This choice should make available for all parents good public, private, parochial, virtual, classical, charter and home schools.

Education outside of the home is an extension of the parent's primary educational mission. The family is the first school and the first government. We have forgotten that objective truth as a Nation and we are reaping the consequences. Good government is always bottom up, not top down, deferring first to the smallest governing unit; not usurping but empowering and helping families.

Those who oppose this educational reform often resort to scare tactics. They argue that it will detrimentally affect the public school system. They claim that supporters of school choice are against public schools. This is simply not true.  I support school choice. I grew up in the inner city of Dorchester, Massachusetts in a blue collar home. My parents struggled to give me the first four primary educational years in a parochial school. The remainder of my education was in a public school.

My parents moved, at great sacrifice and hardship, to make sure I attended a good public school. School choice will give parents greater say in their local schools and make such disruptive moves less necessary. Parental choice in education will give every parent, no matter where they live or how much they earn, the choice of where to send their children to school. And, it will do so while saving money and improving educational quality across the board!

Opponents of parental choice in education often try to rewrite American history. They claim the currently overly federalized bloated bureaucracy called the Public School system is how education in the United States has always been. Nothing could be further from factual history. In loco parentis - a Latin phrase meaning in the place of, or on behalf of the parents - was the polestar of educational law for years. Now, it is all but replaced with a top down one size fits all federalized system which has substituted bureaucrats for parents.

The origins of what became the public school system began with families pooling resources in small community schools.  Now, parents and local communities have an increasingly smaller role in the educational decisional process. Public schools were first local, community schools. Parental or School choice educational reform will return the leadership of our National educational endeavor to parents and the local community.

Some opponents also allege that supporters of parental or school choice want to privatize education. In fact, it is really an effort to Parentize education, by once again affirming that that the family is the first school and first government and parents are the first teachers. Parents and not federal bureaucrats should make the choices concerning the education of their children outside of the first school of the home.

We need to reconsider our history and chart an effective path to true educational reform and educational freedom in the future. The origins of what became the public school system began with families pooling resources in small community schools.  Now, parents and local communities have an increasingly smaller role in the educational process.


School Choice is not a threat to good governance. Rather, it recognizes that government begins in the home and then applies the social ordering principle of subsidiarity. The term is derived from the Latin word "subsidium" which means help or assistance. The principle of subisdiarity is a social ordering principle which says that governance should begin at the smallest level first.

All other government should provide assistance or help to that first government - and not usurp its primary role. Thus, it is a principle which favors a bottom up approach to governing and affirms the family as the first government and first school.

Some opponents of educational choice have a vested interest; they are entrenched in the current federalized educational bureaucracy and the culture which fuels it. However, people of every walk of life now admit the obvious, our educational system is broken.  A growing number now support the school choice or parental choice movement.

We need public servants like E.W. Jackson who affirm, 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. This educational solution is winning the support of leaders from both major parties, as well as the hearts and minds of families all over America.

Education outside of the home is an extension of the parental role. Those who provide it should recognize and defer to the parents' primary role in the educational mission of their own children. The children being educated are not, in the words of the US Supreme Courts' Wisconsin v Yoder decision "mere creatures of the State".

The family is the first government and the first school house. We have forgotten that objective truth as a Nation and we are reaping the bad consequences. Those who try to paint supporters of school choice as backward and anti-Government are using sophistry. The fact is that educational reform like this is forward looking. Their doggedly clinging to a bloated federal bureaucratic approach is what is backward. They fail to defer to the first mediating institution of the family.

Parental (School) Choice is an idea whose time has come. It is a matter of true social justice, not what is masquerading as social justice in some circles these days. The opposition of some in control of the teachers unions to such a just approach to educational policy and fundamental fairness shows how far some of these mediating associations have strayed from their primary role.

Parental choice in education is right for our children, right for our parents and right for the future of our Nation. Parental Choice in education is the path to a true national reform of our educational system. E.W. Jackson is is right on School Choice and he is right to include Home Schools in the solution.

---


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


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


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


Comments


More Politics & Policy

All for naught? FBI admits that Patriot Act didn't lead to cracking major terrorist cases Watch

Image of Opponents, with the inspector general conclude that no major cases have been broken by use of the Patriot Act's records-snooping provisions.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It granted the Federal Bureau of Investigation bold new powers - but now the FBI admits that the Patriot Act didn't help them crack any major terrorism cases. The Justice Department's Inspector general Michael E. Horowitz now says there are issues that keep key ... continue reading


Karl Rove's American Crossroads no longer as powerful as it once was Watch

Image of American Crossroads began by Karl Rove and other powerful Republicans were at one time a most powerful force in American politics.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

American Crossroads, created by Karl Rove and other powerful Republicans, was at one time a most powerful force in American politics. There is evidence, however, that this is changing. The American political landscape is changing, and the group is seeing the ... continue reading


Disappointing Congress: Both the right and the left ladle out heavy disapproval for Congress Watch

Image of Republicans at 36 percent are about as likely as Democrats at 38 percent or independents at 38 percent to say Congress is accomplishing less than they expected.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Even republicans have very little good to say about the republican-led Congress. Just 23 percent of Americans say congressional Republicans are keeping the promises they made during last fall's campaign. The vast majority, at 65 percent say they are not. LOS ... continue reading


ENROLLMENT ZERO: No one signs up for Obamacare in Hawaii - NO ONE Watch

Image of Suppose they gave universal health care - and no one came?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Suppose they gave universal health care - and no one came? That appears to be the case in Hawaii, where Hawaii's Obamacare Exchange enrolled a grand total of ZERO - simply no one, people during its special enrollment period. While Hawaii's enrollment was a ... continue reading


ANOTHER LIE: Hillary Clinton's email scandal grows Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hillary Clinton is caught in another lie regarding her private email account usage. According to the New York Times, Clinton used more than one private account while serving as secretary of state. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The news of another private email ... continue reading


President Obama seeks to end immigration enforcement on part of local police Watch

Image of President Obama hoped to rebut the notion that he is insensitive to the plight of police officers on the front lines.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama, while in Camden, New Jersey, said that in order for local police to rebuild trust within their communities, immigration enforcement must be taken away from state and local police and remain strictly the domain of federal law enforcement. ... continue reading


The Clintons have earned WHOPPING $25 million to deliver speeches since last year Watch

Image of Hillary Clinton has made $3.2 million from the tech sector. One of her last speaking gigs on the paid lecture circuit; she addressed an eBay summit aimed at promoting women in the workplace. Her 20-minute chat garnered a $315,000 check.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former first family, the Clintons, at one time claimed they were broke. If so, this was before last year, when both Bill and Hillary delivered 104 speeches for a total of $25 million. Hillary Clinton is especially popular with high-tech firms, who eagerly shell ... continue reading


President Obama cracks down on military equipment for U.S. law enforcement Watch

Image of Making his announcement in Camden, New Jersey, the president praised efforts by the police department to improve their relationship with a poor community struggling with violence.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. President Barack Obama gave law enforcement a dressing down this week - literally. Obama has placed new restrictions on the amount of combat-style equipment local law enforcement can use. The gesture is intended to smooth over relations with racial ... continue reading


'Iraq is the biggest disaster in American history,' former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright declares Watch

Image of Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright believes

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright spoke plainly when discussing the ongoing Middle East crisis. "Iraq is the biggest disaster in American history," Albright declared late last week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "I have believed that Iraq is the ... continue reading


Somebody's 'Mook?' Hillary Clinton's campaign manager interned for George Stephanopoulos Watch

Image of Yo, Mook!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

George Stephanopoulos is in hot after currently donating to the Clinton Foundation. Adding to the web of deceit, it was discovered that Stephanopoulos thanked Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, Robby Mook in the acknowledgement section of his 1999 tell-all ... 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 25:13-21
13 Some days later King Agrippa and Bernice arrived ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20
1 [Of David] Bless Yahweh, my soul, from the depths ... Read More

Gospel, John 21:15-19
15 When they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 22nd, 2015 Image

St. Rita
May 22: St. Rita was born at Spoleto, Italy in 1381. At an early age, ... 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