Parental rights have been eroding for decades. It’s particularly obvious in education. Parents who want school choice are sometimes labeled as haters of democracy — nothing could be further from the truth. It is precisely our democratic system which protects and upholds our right to guide our children as we see fit.
Determining how our child is best educated and the values upon which that education is based is a basic right of parents. Speaking personally, we opted to send our children to private Christian schools. While this may not be an option for everyone, it often provides a nurturing and safe environment for children to learn. Another option is homeschooling, which we also did with our children. This is a particularly good option for parents to address the unique learning style of their children. Rather than simply giving our children over to the government schools; a home environment is often best, as determined by the people who know them best: their parents.
North Dakota thankfully has some basic laws in place to protect parents in exercising their rights when it comes to raising their children. However, among its flaws, the law requires periodic testing to state requirements, which is often based on Common Core standards that have been proven inconsistent and poor indicators of a child’s academic abilities. Many public schools do a good job of providing a basic education, but the inherent value system they typically promote is inconsistent with our values and religious freedoms as Christians.
The final aspect of the education debate is funding for homeschool and private schools. This past legislative session, House Bill 1382 was designed to provide school choice options and use Educational Savings Accounts to financially support parents’ educational choices. Rather than approving the final version of the bill, which was simply to study the issue, the Senate defeated it.
We need to protect and expand parental rights and the ability to instill Christian values through our children’s education. It is not the educational system and its values that are ultimately responsible for their education, but each of us as parents. Let’s make our voices heard so that democratic rights and values trump philosophies imposed by the educational system!
Please take a moment to contact your legislators toady about this important issue.