Education

Want To Stop School Book Battles? Give Parents Real Choice in Education

State-level "gag orders" on teaching certain texts and ideas are terrible and utterly predictable in a one-size-fits-all K-12 educational system.

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We've all seen the stories: In Tennessee last year, a group called Moms for Liberty challenged the inclusion of age-appropriate, picture-heavy books about Ruby Bridges, the little black girl who desegregated New Orleans schools in 1960 and was immortalized in Norman Rockwell's painting "The Problem We All Live With," in a second-grade curriculum because they "reveal anti-American" and "anti-White" animus. 

A different school board in the same state pulled Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer-Prize winning graphic novel Maus from its eighth grade Holocaust teaching, arguing that its "unnecessary use of profanity and nudity and its depiction of violence and suicide" made it unsuitable for students of that age. 

In the state of Washington, a progressive school board yanked To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) from high school because it perpetuates "white savior tropes" and features characters using racial slurs without being punished for such now-unacceptable language. (This is an interesting turn of events, since Harper Lee's novel has historically been called out for foregrounding age-inappropriate themes of rape, incest, and classism.)

If we're being fair, it's easy to mock all these decisions (what a bunch of goddamn snowflakes!) but also to make a defense of them (how dare you tell my kids what to read!). Schools necessarily do need to be making specific calls about what to include and what to skip, since they can't teach everything. As an overeducated parent of two now-grown sons who has strong (if not always strongly informed) opinions about education, I know what it's like to sift through materials and wonder just what the fuck is going on at your kids' schools. After two years of massively disrupted schooling and overhearing mostly useless Zoom classes, parents are understandably spoiling for fights. 

None of what's being discussed is censorship in the remotest sense of the word, since even the "banned" books remain readily available in libraries and bookstores. (In fact, Maus, originally published in collected form in 1991, vaulted to the top of Amazon's bestsellers lists immediately after being challenged.) 

But here's the thing: Unless we want to live in a country where every curricular decision—even ones about what's served in the cafeteriais subject to scorched-earth scrutiny not simply by the relevant parents and (maybe relevant) taxpayers but by every cable news host, Instagram mom, Bean Dad, elected official, and citizen at large, we need to give the people most directly affected more options so they can find a school that works for them. 

The problem isn't that To Kill a Mockingbird is being pulled from—or made mandatory in—10th-grade English, it's that the overwhelming majority of kids (and parents) who are being told to suck it have no options. About 91 percent of K-12 students attend public schools, and while there has been a significant increase in various forms of school choice such as charters, online programs, and homeschooling, the overwhelming majority of kids still go to traditional, residential-assignment grammar and high schools. 

In a country as vast, diverse, and heterogenous as the United States, there's no way that 98,000 public schools in 13,800 districts are going to please everyone, even if they are doing surprisingly well with most parents. (Even in the wake of COVID debacles, Gallup reports that 73 percent of parents are completely or somewhat satisfied "with the quality of the education [their] oldest child is receiving.") The heart of the matter isn't about who is making what specific decisions (however moronic you or I might think they are) but who is bound by them. Until we give parents not just more input into what their kids are learning but more actual options for where to send their kids, today's book battles are only going to get worse. Gone for good are the days when an easy consensus on just about anything but especially education can be reached. For a lot of mostly good reasons (we're wealthier, more educated, and more skeptical of experts and authorities), all of us feel empowered to insist on our preferences, especially when it comes to education.

The model to achieve peace in education is how religion works in a free society. When there is only one church in town and all must attend, anger and conflict are inevitable, and there are endless struggles to control what gets preached and thus forced down everyone's throat. If you make it possible for thousands of congregations to exist and let people attend the services they want, you'll sow tolerance and pluralism even as folks will continue to debate whose god is best, what is the one and only heaven, and how best to live a meaningful life.

The growing rancor about "inappropriate" content in public schools reflects what the conservative commentator David French calls "the censorship fever that is breaking out across America." Increasingly aggressive challenges to books from the right and the left are the junior varsity version of a broader cancel culture that seeks to regiment public opinion and delegitimize free expression, good-faith argument, and dissent. 

None of this new, of course, as schools have always been ideological battlegrounds, often precisely because of the texts in use. In Philadelphia in 1844, disputes over whether the Protestant or Catholic Bible should be used in the city's public schools sparked riots that killed 20 and burned down two Catholic churches. If that sort of violence seems unlikely today, the long history of curricular fights is both comforting (they're nothing new) and depressing (god, not this again). 

If there's something particularly dangerous in the attention paid to fights over school libraries stocking Gender Queer and The Kite Runner, it's that they deflect attention from a more serious—and actual—form of censorship at the state level, where legislators, often in the name of empowering parents, are rushing to locate educational decision-making far, far away from neighborhood schools and local control.

The free expression group PEN America says that there's a "steep rise in gag orders," or laws that proscribe teaching certain ideas and concepts at the state-wide level. Such laws are not going to depoliticize culture war battles over what gets taught. Indeed, because they raise the stakes from a particular school or district to a much bigger jurisdiction, they can only pour gas on current fires. 

According to political scientist Jeffrey Sachs, over the past year, at least 122 such bills have been introduced in legislatures, a dozen have become law in 10 states, and over 100 are still "live." The vast majority of these target K-12 education, though some also cover state-assisted higher ed institutions. PEN America keeps an updated spreadsheet of the proposals, many of which would ban particular works (never a good sign in a free society), empower a pedagogical version of the heckler's veto, and ratchet up the politicization of curricula to an even more frenzied level.

At least 20 of the bills introduced over the past year specifically ban any classroom use or discussion of the 1619 Project and 11 also ban the teaching of critical race theory (CRT) by name, which is defined by the Florida Board of Education as a set of theories that teach "that racism is not merely the product of prejudice, but that racism is embedded in American society and its legal systems in order to uphold the supremacy of white persons." Another two dozen create a "private right of action" that would allow parents and other citizens to sue schools and districts.

"The alleged problem [of CRT] is so endemic that conservatives typically concerned with government overreach, thought policing, and political correctness now support a top-down legislative crackdown that calls for state control of local decisions, book banning, and a single acceptable story about America's heritage," writes Chris Stewart, a school choice activist and former member of the St. Paul, Minnesota, school board.

The newfound commitment by mostly Republican legislators to the fierce urgency of now has led to embarrassment. In January, a Virginia delegate rushed to pre-file a bill that would have mandated the teaching of, among other sacred texts, "the first debate between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass," which of course doesn't exist. (In 1858, Lincoln famously sparred with pro-slavery Senator Stephen Douglass of Illinois). We could make too much over this detail, for sure, but it's a bad sign when basic facts are wrong in legislation that could have massive reach. 

The same bill bans the teaching of "divisive concepts," which everyone will quickly recognize as a series of progressive talking points about systemic racism, the evils of capitalism, and equity of outcome vs. equality of opportunity comprising the colloquial definition of CRT. As someone who disagrees strongly with such thinking, the only thing I find more troubling than it is the state dictating the limits of acceptable thought.

Supporters of state-level gag orders say they merely represent, in the words of the Manhattan Institute's Chris Rufo, parents finally "taking a stand against a broken public school system." Rufo, who has done more than any single individual to call attention to the rise of CRT-influenced corporate and government antiracist training programs and curricula at K-12 and higher education institutions, points to last fall's gubernatorial race in Virginia to make his case:

Terry McAuliffe, a popular former governor, went down to defeat after asserting that parents should not "be telling schools what they should teach." In the weeks following McAuliffe's comments, parents coalesced behind his opponent, Glenn Youngkin, who made educational choice the centerpiece of his campaign.

But what Rufo is actually describing is a political strategy, not a pedagogical program. Youngkin was not anyone's idea of a fierce proponent of school choice during the campaign, especially since his only concrete proposal to expand the amount and variety of educational offerings was a promise to "build at least 20" new charter schools, a meager offering according to choice activists who promote far more sweeping reforms such as "backpack funding" for students and the creation of Education Savings Accounts. 

What Youngkin did emphasize was "keeping schools open safely five days a week," which had obvious appeal to parents strung out by COVID closures but can't be confused with school choice. He also campaigned against CRT, especially after McAuliffe's gaffe late in the campaign, but it remains far from clear exactly how big a role anything education-related played in Youngkin's win. Since taking office, Youngkin has tried unsuccessfully to fund charters, passed an executive order banning CRT, and established a tip line for "parents to send us any instances where they feel that their fundamental rights are being violated, where their children are not being respected, where there are inherently divisive practices in their schools."

Dictating what must be taught—and what absolutely cannot be taught—from a governor's mansion or a statehouse is a strange way to empower parents. It may be good politics, but if your interest is in reducing conflict over education and helping kids find places where they flourish, the state-level gag orders are a stumbling block to building coalitions to broaden and strengthen school choice, especially among low-income minority parents who strongly support school choice programs. The push on gag orders, Stewart tells me, "is a cancer on our movement. It's literally dividing school choice proponents from not having a big tent and moving forward with getting more constituencies involved in school choice."

Those concerns are echoed by other school-choice proponents. "I don't think the government should be making those decisions," says Corey DeAngelis, national director of research at the American Federation for Children. He believes that the Republican Party is by far the better party on choice because Democrats at every level are in the pocket of teachers unions, but he notes that many GOP members still want to control curriculum rather than letting parents choose. "Virginia public schools spend over $13,000 per student per year," he wrote shortly after Youngkin's win last fall, which he largely attributed to parental frustration. "At least some of that funding should follow the child to wherever they receive an education—whether it be a public, charter, private, or home school." (DeAngelis points to Pell Grants, student loans, and court decisions in various voucher cases to deflect constitutional questions about tax dollars going to religious institutions).

Under real school choice, no school at any level would be guaranteed tax dollars simply because it exists. Schools would live or die by their ability to attract and keep students based on their stated values and outcomes. "Parents should choose for their own kids," DeAngelis told me in a recent interview. "If a family wants to take their kid's education dollars to a school that has critical race theory [curriculum]…or a type of curriculum that aligns with their values, I think we should be OK with that. I think it's a problem when we start to force everybody into a system where they inherently disagree with what the curriculum is and how it's being taught."

State-level gag orders that ban specific texts and concepts are being sold as a way of minimizing conflict over K-12 curriculum but all they do is raise the stakes by moving the battle from the local school district to the state capital. The only real way to change this toxic dynamic is by giving parents and students real choice in education and letting a thousand curricula bloom. There will still be serious and important arguments over what should be taught and how, but, like religious differences today, they will be resolved peacefully and at the family level.

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  2. BOTH SIDEs

    One side is for indoctrination, the other is against it. How terrible!

    1. Just a few hours ago, Reason had a piece lambasting 1619 as Junk History.

      I guess Reason is for teaching Junk History. Why not Junk Science? Why not Flat Earth? Why have anyone deciding what gets taught to our kids?

      1. You don't make any sense. Is Reason supporting or lambasting junk history, which is it? Can't be both.

        The whole thrust of TFA is that parents should choose the school they want, whether it is junk history or junk science.

        1. And the article and your post both miss the point... Nobody wants their kid to be taught about genderqueer sex preferences in kindergarten.

          A certain group of activists wants *other people's* kindergarten children to be taught about it.

          That is the battle.

          That is why the left has absolutely no interest in this pitch for school choice, even if you wrap it up in a bunch of delicious derision for all things conservative.

          1. There are plenty of leftist parents who treat their own kids as personal gender queen handbags.

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          2. I think that Teh Jacket's article is generally right on- so long as the government controls a thing that is important to society, you will forever have political knife fights to control that thing. This is the case for housing, money, labor, and school. *shrug*

            That said, Nick's article is not mutually exclusive from what DeSantis et all are doing in these states. Wanting to stop public schooling is fine. But this year, not in a utopian future, there is in fact a war being waged by leftists who are looking to undermine capitalism and freedom with a bunch of queer/marxist claptrap dressed up as social justice. It isn't just 1619 Subject or "My Two Dads" stuff. It includes teachers who encourage kids to find social causes to protest (rather than finding problems to solve with entrepreneurial solutions). It includes over emphasis of "proving points" instead of seeking evidence.

            That isn't going to be fixed tomorrow, so I can happily endorse efforts to privatize schooling AND defanging the leftists that infiltrated our schools.

            1. I think that Teh Jacket's article is generally right on- so long as the government controls a thing that is important to society, you will forever have political knife fights to control that thing.

              Funding is a form of control, then, is it not? As long as education is funded by taxes paid by voters, those voters will want a say in how that education is delivered. School choice would not end these debates. They would just move them to whatever private schools parents choose. Parents only have the choice to indoctrinate their children at whatever school they choose if they use only their own money to do so.

              And make no mistake, conservatives in favor of vouchers aren't against "indoctrination" in K-12 education, they are just against indoctrinating kids in the wrong things. They want public money to fund the ability of conservative Christian parents to send their kids to schools that literally indoctrinate them in their religion. They are happy for public money to go toward schools that won't admit students that are gay, or even that have gay parents. They are happy for public money to financially support schools that teach that cavemen lived with dinosaurs before the Flood.

              That isn't going to be fixed tomorrow, so I can happily endorse efforts to privatize schooling AND defanging the leftists that infiltrated our schools.

              This is what DeSantis and his ilk are selling you. That the schools have been taken over by "queer/marxist" ideologues and that dismantling public education as we know it is the only way to break them. It is all about using culture wars to whip up support and votes and not about solving problems with evidence or "entrepreneurial solutions".

              1. He appears to be addressing a real issue here... but then - I guess your mind reading abilities surpass mine so you can draw that conclusion whereas I can only judge by the various egregious abuses that teacher and schools have been reported to be engaged in (which this legislation is trying to address).

              2. "And make no mistake, conservatives in favor of vouchers aren't against "indoctrination" in K-12 education, they are just against indoctrinating kids in the wrong things. They want public money to fund the ability of conservative Christian parents to send their kids to schools that literally indoctrinate them in their religion."

                Can you explain why conservatives are more than willing to let you send your kids to any school you desire while progressives are very adamant you cannot? Since you would argue ANY education is "indoctrination", why should you not be given the options?

                But if you both take my money AND demand I send my child to a school, then rest assured, I'm going to not let you teach my child whatever bullshit you think is peachy.

                "This is what DeSantis and his ilk are selling you."

                Just seems odd that people who SWEAR they are not indoctrinating your kids or teaching about sex to young kids are so damned pissed that they are not permitted to indoctrinate your kids or teach out sex to young kids.

                The establishment has not realized how brutally destructive it is to have teachers posting videos on social media bragging about what they are actually teaching kids.

                1. I'll point out the two largest problems with your argument:

                  1) It isn't just your money, so you don't get to just take everybody's money and use it for yourself. Everyone who is paying in is a stakeholder and should have an equal voice. And there are a lot more non-parents paying in than parents. Delware has complete school choice and decreased (it used to be zero, but it recently changed to 50%) school taxes for those over 65, so it is closer to parity between parents and non-parents, but it's still skewed towards the non-parents.

                  2) No one is teaching your grade schooler about sex. Talking about homosexuals is just like talking about heterosexuals to kids that age. "Adam loves Steve" is the same age-appropriate conversation as "Adam loves Eve". There is no sexual content in acknowledging the equality of homosexual and heterosexual relationships.

                  No one is advocating sex ed for third graders, for God's sake.

                  1. "No one is teaching your grade schooler about sex."

                    Yeah sure. What color is the sky in your world?

                    1. What a fact-filled rebuttal. It doesn't change the fact that most of the things cultural conservatives don't want taught aren't being taught. And certainly not the way they saynit's being taught. But if you use vague enough language, maybe you can fool enough people to shut down the "others".

                  2. "No one is advocating sex ed for third graders, for God's sake."

                    You're aware of the rage over the anti-grooming bill ion FL, right?

                    That is the extent of its commentary on gay education and trans issues. Nothing more.

                    SO, if NOBODY is doing it...why all the rage? Why all the uproar?

                    ...mind you, it does not even say they cannot discuss sex or gender theory. It just cannot be done in a public area.

                    Perhaps you should tell teachers happily posting videos on how they teach their "kids" this stuff that they really are not doing it. I will take their word over what they are doing over yours here.

                    1. "You're aware of the rage over the anti-grooming bill ion FL, right?"

                      Anti-grooming bill? After a mischaracterization like that, why would anyone take you seriously?

                    2. It's a dramatically more honest description than "Don't Say Gay".

                    3. There isn't anything that the bill addresses that is in any way connected to "grooming". Probably because there isn't school curriculum that "grooms" anyone for anything.

                      Unless you mean grooming kids to succeed in a world they have been prepared for through knowledge and critical thinking. In that case, it is absolutely an anti-grooming bill.

                    4. Sure, hold on to your definition of trying to sexualize young kids. Which schools have been trying to do. And parents have stopped.

                      Peacefully. Violently, of course, exists as an alternative.

                    5. What is wrong with you? Are you just trolling or do you actually believe that grade school teachers are grooming kids for sexual exploitation and the only thing preventing it is the plucky parents fighting the good fight?

          3. "Nobody wants their kid to be taught about genderqueer sex preferences in kindergarten."

            No one is doing that, Captain Strawman. No one is trying to do that.

            1. Sure "leslie" Nelson.... keep telling people in front of the fireworks factory to go home -
              "Nothing to see here..."

              1. Making things up or falsely conflating teaching about the existence and acceptability of homosexuality and teaching about sexual activity is just dishonest.

                I'm still not sure if cultural conservatives actually believe grade school kids are being taught about sexual intercourse whenever homosexuality is discussed, if their moral panic overcomes their reason, or if they are so manipulative that they think it's a winning political strategy. My guess is the last one.

                1. "Making things up or falsely conflating teaching about the existence and acceptability of homosexuality and teaching about sexual activity is just dishonest."

                  Teachers are BRAGGING about doing this. Take up your beefs with them. THEY say they are doing this.

                  1. No teacher is bragging about teaching sex ed to kindergarteners. If you want to object to acknowledging the equivelence hetween homosexual and heterosexual relationships, at least be honest about what is actually happening.

                    1. Tell the teachers "coming out" to their classes about how they really are not doing that.

                    2. Coming out is also not about sexual intercourse. You are making my point for me.

                      A teacher acknowledging they are gay isn't a bad thing. It has zero sexual content. Saying that you love someone of the same sex is exactly as sexual as saying you love someone of the opposite sex: not at all.

                    3. A teacher bringing it up IS inappropriate. Kindergartners do not need to know whom you fuck.

                      And, yes, there is a concerted effort to increase sex ed amongst 3rd graders and under...you know, the kids who have no interest in the topic nor really much of an ability to use any knowledge of it.

                    4. A teacher bringing it up IS inappropriate. Kindergartners do not need to know whom you fuck.

                      You are the one making it about who is fucking whom. Is it teaching sex ed to a 5 year old to tell them that you are married to someone of the opposite sex? If not, then why would it be when someone says that they are married to someone of the same sex? As Nelson said, you are making his points for him.

            2. ""Nobody wants their kid to be taught about genderqueer sex preferences in kindergarten."

              No one is doing that, Captain Strawman. No one is trying to do that."

              Certainly explains the outage over being told you cannot do that to kids in 3rd grade or under. Since they are, as you say, not doing that and all.

              1. yeah... you'd think it should be considered a big nothing burger if thats the case - no harm no foul.
                but thats not how they are reacting to the law. Why is that?

                1. If somebody told me "Mike, you're not allowed to fly unless you're inside an airplane or helicopter", I'd say "I don't get the point, but whatever"

                2. Also note that the law is specifically about curricula, not incidental conversation.

                  Not that the left wants you to understand that.

                  1. You still haven't explained why teaching that homosexuals exist and are equal is a bad thing.

                    Because you can't. The moral outrage crowd has to lie about it being sex ed because there isn't a valid reason to silence, ban, and criminalize education that recognizes the complete normality and equality of homosexual relationships.

                    1. "You still haven't explained why teaching that homosexuals exist and are equal is a bad thing."

                      Not sure that straw man has been beaten enough. Keep on hammering on it until it learns, Nelson.

                      "The moral outrage crowd has to lie about it being sex ed because there isn't a valid reason to silence, ban, and criminalize education that recognizes the complete normality and equality of homosexual relationships."

                      Except it does not. Sorry to break it you, groomer.

                    2. OK, I'll bite. Let's assume you aren't opposed to teaching that homosexuality and heterosexuality both exist and are both equal.

                      Can you explain what is actually being taught that you object to? And why?

                    3. I don't want straight teachers discussing their husbands/wives EITHER. It is irrelevant.

                    4. I don't want straight teachers discussing their husbands/wives EITHER. It is irrelevant.

                      Right, because the fact that people get married NEVER comes up when talking to kids. And kids would never ASK a teacher if they are married out of simple curiosity, if nothing else.

              2. Again, no one is outraged that sex ed isn't being taught to grade schoolers.

                People are outraged that there is a concerted effort by cultural conservatives to ban even acknowledging the fact that heterosexual and homosexual relationships are exactly the same. Equally valid, equally loving, equally moral, even equally disfunctional (depending on the relationship).

                No one is describing, illustrating, or otherwise teaching about sexual intercourse to these kids, homosexual or otherwise. It just isn't happening.

                1. "Again, no one is outraged that sex ed isn't being taught to grade schoolers."

                  No, morons are convinced that they are being banned from saying "Gay" because they are too stupid to read the bill.

                  You are not one of those people are you, Nelson? Too stupid to read a bill?

                  "No one is describing, illustrating, or otherwise teaching about sexual intercourse to these kids, homosexual or otherwise. It just isn't happening."

                  OK, Groomer.

                  1. "OK, Groomer."

                    How exactly are kids being groomed? And for whom?

      2. If we don't add HNJ's book to the curriculum we're in favor of book burnings.

        1. No one is saying that. They are saying that *banning* books, in general, is a terrible idea.

          You don't have to like everything taught in schools and, depending on how out of touch you are with American culture, you probably don't.

          Pretending that teaching about something equals indoctrination is, on its face, ridiculous. But it is the justification that the moral panic crowd uses to justify their opposition to ideas that make them uncomfortable.

          1. The most infamous example of conservatives "banning" books involved Maus not being included in the REQUIRED reading part of the curriculum.

            Was it still in the library? Yup. Never heard of the theory that any book not REQUIRED to be read was, in fact, being banned before this.

            1. But they included, in that article, mentions of books that weren't banned but they found one parent who complained that it had the word "lesbian" in it, and pretended it was an example of conservatives banning books.

              Meanwhile, the left loves to ban things they dislike, like Huckleberry Finn. I guarantee you there's plenty of schools that have yanked that out of their library because of how problematic it is.

              1. And that would be wrong. Because banning books is a bad thing.

                You are making my point for me. Who cares which intolerant viewpoint is the instigator? Banning books is a bad thing.

                Once more, for those who only object when the "other side" does it:

                Banning books is a bad thing.

                1. The list of books banned by conservatives is...?

                  1. Several of the ones on the list I posted were/are banned by conservatives. The most ridiculous one(s) are the Harry Potter books, but aparently they advicate satanism and witchcraft.

            2. The examples (and there are so, so many) aren't just about curriculum. How many books have various conservatives pushed to be removed *from the library* because they don't like the subjects.

              Don't piss on me and tell me it's raining. Requiring books to be removed from the library, independent of whether or not they are part of the curriculum, is pretty much a textbook definition of book banning.

              1. "Don't piss on me and tell me it's raining. Requiring books to be removed from the library, independent of whether or not they are part of the curriculum, is pretty much a textbook definition of book banning."

                Those books are...?

                1. A quick-hit list is rught below this post.

            3. Here are just some of the books that have been recently banned or had a previous ban reiterated (as in removed from the shelves in schools) by various school districts:

              Beloved
              To Kill A Mockongbird
              Maus
              Catcher in the Rye
              Fahrenheit 451
              All Boys Aren't Blue
              The Diary of Anne Frank
              Mein Kampf
              Stamped
              1984
              Brave New World
              Lord of the Flies
              The Autobiography of Malcom X
              Harry Potter
              Of Mice and Men
              13 Reasons Why
              The Hate U Give
              The Color Purple
              Animal Farm
              The Lorax

              And that's just with a 2 minute Google search. Yes, books are being banned. Yes, both extreme conservatives and extreme liberals are doing it (although the state governments getting involved are largely consevative). No, it isn't acceptable no matter who is doing it.

              Conservative efforts seem to be focused on books that portray gay and minority issues positively and, for older kids, include profanity, but Harry Potter has been a target of religious conservatives since the first book came out. Liberal efforts seem to be focused on books that use racist language and stereotypes.

              None of those is a good reason to ban age-appropriate books (so no, I'm not advocating Lord of the Flies for kindergarteners).

              Discussion of uncomfortable topics and difficult history is what expands the mind and enhances critical thinking. It's a good thing, and the basis of a good education.

              1. Because everything you find on Google in a 2 minute search is 100% accurate.

                Almost all of the stories about "banned" books are about books that haven't been chosen as part of the curriculum which is entirely the purview of the local school board. Almost all of these books remain in their school libraries.

                1. Oh, you didn't hear. Not assigning books is the new version of banning them to peeps like Nelson here.

                  1. Yet again you put words in my mouth. I wouldn't say that because it isn't what I believe.

  3. Government-run schools sum up everything that is wrong with government -- mandatory, no choice, inefficient, incompetent.

    I don't particularly like government-funded either, since the redistributive manner makes it inefficient, and privately funded schools without government regulations would be even more efficient. Schools used to be privately funded, but then government took over and made it so expensive that no one believes it could be an order of magnitude cheaper.

  4. closing schools also effective.

  5. Most of this clap trap is just a tempest in a teapot. I remember having to read To Kill a Mocking Bird as well as the Scarlet Letter. The only reason I remember anything about them is for the former we also watched the movie and for the latter I bought the Kliff Notes because the language was gobildy goop to all of us. The only school kids who really read these books are future journalism majors.

    1. Which is probably why they included cartoon illustrations in the genderqueer series.

  6. Thank God Reasons normal candidate of choice isn't against charter schools and choice...

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/biden-rule-could-force-charter-schools-to-close-former-education-official-warns

  7. It's called fighting on all fronts. Approximately the same movement that's for the state-level gag orders is also for school choice. They'll take choice if they can get it, but in the meantime the gag orders are the only effective way to fight propaganda.

    1. So choice is a good thing when people choose what you want, but if they don't choose what you want they need to be forced by the government?

      You clearly don't understand what "choice" means.

      Hint: it doesn't mean "do it my way or we'll force you to do it my way".

      1. Again, can you explain the outrage over the anti-grooming bill in FL? You'd think people who clearly are supportive of choice would certainly approve it here, no?

        1. It isn't an anti-grooming bill, you pedophilia-obsessed fool. What is wrong with you?

          1. Groomer, it is. Just because YOU have a desire to diddle young kids does not mean others here with to partake in your fetish.

            Are you SPB2?

            1. So opposing book banning is the same as grooming?

              To quote Inigo Montoya, I don't think that word means what you think it means.

    2. Free speech is a better way to fight propaganda than gag orders IMO.

      1. Exactly. And excellent Schoolhouse Rocks reference for your name.

        1. Loved Schoolhouse Rock! Bet no generation other than those of us who grew up w/ SR can cite the preamble to the COTUS.

          1. It's what made me want to read the rest of it when I was a young child. It didn't make sense to me at 5, but once I was old enough to understand it blew me away. It still does.

  8. Get rid of public schools entirely. The entire concept is a disaster.

    1. But at least its an expensive disaster.
      Just look at the billions of dollars the public education system has wasted.
      Can you think of any other program that has consistently wasted our tax dollars for so long a time?

      1. there's so many options.

    2. Public schools were fine if you were only interested in creating factory workers and soldiers.
      People can still get a job as a soldier I guess.

  9. Parental choice in our beloved public school indoctrination centers is an absure idea.
    The peasantry isn't there to dictate what their children should learn.
    The peasantry is there to pay for the teachers' administrators and school board salaries, benefits and other benefits.
    The curriculum must be made up by progressive minds that are able to install the correct Marxist ideals in the minds of children so they can get a head start into communist ideology.
    Then the kids will grow up to be good little useful idiots and robots believing everything they have been taught and become grateful robots The State wants them to be.
    Otherwise the cancers of freedom, capitalism and individuality might infect our beloved socialist slave state and disharmony, chaos and questioning our obvious betters' decisions will begin, and no sane socialist slaver wants that.

    1. ^THIS....... Perfect sarcastic point....

    2. Well said. Freedom, capitalism, individual rights, and above all meritocracy are racist, sexist, homophobic ideas which must be drilled out of anyone who still thinks for themselves.

  10. Fighting over books! What’s next, burning them?

    How about allowing discussion on EVERY idea that’s presented, without compromise? Especially if there is a censorship law prohibiting it.

    Only lying cancel culture censorship bigots could disagree with that.

    1. How about 'cancel' Communist and Socialists?
      And put families in charge of their kids instead of the Nazi-State?

      This is the end-result of TOO MUCH Nazism... [WE] mobs out trying to out gov-gun each other for the Gun-Power of unlimited dictation on all the 'slaves' of the state.

      1. Do you realize that by focussing on national socialism you’re giving a pass to all other corruption?

        If not, you’re the only one who doesn’t

        Corruption is not defined by national socialism.
        .

        1. All socialism is evil.
          Go, and sin no more,

          1. How is it evil for people to agree to work together sharing everything equally?

            Socialism doesn’t define evil.

            Greed is responsible for most evil.

            1. Yet in the mass acceptable term for socialism is GOVERNMENT socialism which puts Gov-Guns at it's helm... That's not "agreeing" to work together that's FORCING THEM (Dictation)....

              Course you know this; but you like to play stupid so your Nazi party can FORCE/ENSLAVE/STEAL..... Just like Greedy People always end up doing.

              1. So you’re okay with “good” socialism.

            2. There is no "agreement" about working together and sharing everything equally in any flavor of Socialism, whether National or International.

              That is what makes it evil, and you too for giving apologetics for National Socialism.

              Fuck off, Nazi!

            3. There is nothing greedier than demanding that everyone else should sacrifice their well being for yours.

              1. Funny, I’ve never heard greed defined by helping other before.

                1. In case you haven't figured it out; 'Helping' others doesn't require point Gov-Guns at them. In fact its rather absurd you can even pretend to justify such armed criminal behavior as 'helping'.

                  If you want to help; help keep a civilized society by keeping Gov-Gun usage specifically for ensuring everyone's Liberty and Justice and not for acts a criminal would do.

                  1. Fuckwit! Don’t you put your ridiculous words in my mouth. You can’t cite that I advocate “ armed criminal behavior as 'helping'.” Because I haven’t.

                    I have advocated the freedom of speech to discuss every presented idea in school especially if it has been prohibited by the “gov guns”.

                    You are denying that people have the right to choose good socialism.

                    1. Yet 10 out of 10 dictionaries conclude the world socialism involves centralized government........

                      Stupid is; is stupid argues...

              2. Suck it up princess.

                If you want to participate in civilized society, there’s a price of admission.

                1. Nazism = Civilized Society???
                  UR Retarded 🙂

                  1. I never said that.

                    How about you try to refute what I do say for a change?

                    1. Oh, Never-mind this entire board is about Commie-Education --- I guess your comment was about private education services instead of ?dication?.

            4. If you want to form your own private collective and consensually share your property with others, go nuts. Keep it out of government, and away from the rest of us.

            5. It's not evil "for people to agree to work together". It's evil for people like you to FORCE other people to do so against their wills.

          2. He won't.

            Just tell him to: "Go and Fuck off, Nazi!"

    2. That is just stupid.

      Would you agree with teaching that black people are genetically inferior and predisposed to violence and promiscuity? How about teaching that Jews have tails, worship the devil and sacrifice babies? Wanna teach elementary school kids that homosexuals are deviants who prey upon children and should never be allowed near children?

      Yeah... Didn't think so.

      This is not something you can "both sides" your way out of.

      1. There’s something that you’re completely unaware of.

        People with intelligence can refute lies. Truth can never be refuted.

        If people believe a lie, that belief can’t be punished out of them. Only valuing and recognizing the truth that refutes lies can.

        I invite discussions about black representation in prison because I know that lies can be refuted and truth can’t.

        Jewish and homosexual behaviour is no different. Either it can or cannot withstand scrutiny.

        Your ignorance makes you afraid and dangerous.

        1. You’re a literal nazi that wants to get rid of the Jews.

        2. Listening to the bigots put words in my mouth then circle jerk as they refute them.

          You’re legends in your own minds.

      2. Would you agree with teaching that black people are genetically inferior and predisposed to violence and promiscuity? How about teaching that Jews have tails, worship the devil and sacrifice babies? Wanna teach elementary school kids that homosexuals are deviants who prey upon children and should never be allowed near children?

        Yeah... Didn't think so.

        Obviously, you haven't encountered Misek.

      3. "Would you agree with teaching that black people are genetically inferior and predisposed to violence and promiscuity? How about teaching that Jews have tails, worship the devil and sacrifice babies?"

        Cyto, the problem is that Rob most likely agrees with all of that. He believes, despite millions of pages of documents seized from the Nazis, thousands of hours of film showing atrocities, the testimony of multiple high-ranking Nazis, and public statements made during the Third Reich, that the Holocaust didn't happen. He is an unapologetic (and truth-immune) Nazi.

        "Wanna teach elementary school kids that homosexuals are deviants who prey upon children and should never be allowed near children?"

        This part, unfortunately, is a strongly-held belief amongst cultural conservatives. Add "trans" to "homosexuals" and the vitriol gets psychotic. A disturbing number of posters have made comments like this in the last six months. Probably longer, but I can only speak to what I have seen since I got here.

        1. "Cyto, the problem is that Rob most likely agrees with all of that."

          Unfortunately, so do CRT activists and supporters. The Klan had views similar to Kendi about what black folks are capable of.

          "This part, unfortunately, is a strongly-held belief amongst cultural conservatives. Add "trans" to "homosexuals" and the vitriol gets psychotic. A disturbing number of posters have made comments like this in the last six months. Probably longer, but I can only speak to what I have seen since I got here."

          Any person IRATE over being told "You cannot discuss gender theory and sexuality with kids eight years old and under" Should be barred from being near kids at all.

          And most people like me do not CARE if a dude wants to pretend he is a woman. I do mind being DEMANDED to play along. Fuck that noise.

          1. "Unfortunately, so do CRT activists and supporters."

            Demonize and stereotype much?

            "Any person IRATE over being told "You cannot discuss gender theory and sexuality with kids eight years old and under""

            But that isn't what's happening, is it? No one is asking grade schoolers to engage in critical analysis of higher-order concepts like gender theory.

            Sexuality (as in homosexuality and heterosexuality being the equivelent, not sex ed like the more dishonest folks say) as a reality that any average five-year-old is aware of? There is no valid reason to ban age-appropriate topics like that.

            "I do mind being DEMANDED to play along. Fuck that noise."

            And no one is making you. If it isn't part of your life, ignore it. Unless, of course, you do care.

            1. "Demonize and stereotype much?"

              I know. Believing blacks and whites are actual equals is demonizing folks. Truly. How dare I don't think blacks have no hope to achieve success. They are helpless victims, darn it!

              "But that isn't what's happening, is it?"

              Yeah, it is. Has been going on for a little while now.

              "No one is asking grade schoolers to engage in critical analysis of higher-order concepts like gender theory."

              Except they are. Young kids deciding they are trans are like dogs deciding they are vegans. It's not them making that decision.

              "Sexuality (as in homosexuality and heterosexuality being the equivelent, not sex ed like the more dishonest folks say) as a reality that any average five-year-old is aware of? There is no valid reason to ban age-appropriate topics like that."

              Given the lies the activists have been saying for years and that teachers, by and large, are a shade above retarded, it's better to have them avoid subjects they simply do not understand whatsoever, There is zero benefit to have morons teach kids anything that can scree with their heads.

              It is truly baffling that the idea that "hey, maybe we should not discuss sexuality with 5 year olds" is controversial.

              "And no one is making you. If it isn't part of your life, ignore it. Unless, of course, you do care."

              It's adorable that you believe punishments do not follow if you "misgender" somebody by referring to a man who thinks he's woman as a man.

              1. "How dare I don't think blacks have no hope to achieve success. They are helpless victims, darn it!"

                Again with the straw man? That isn't part of the beliefs of any of the groups you demonize.

                "Yeah, it is. Has been going on for a little while now."

                Only in the minds of cultural conservatives, who want to prevent free thinking and exposung children to confusing ideas like "not everyone agrees on everything and that's OK".

                Your ideas are not the only ones. They aren't even the best ones. And presenting alternatives to outdated traditionalist ideas like the superiority of the heterosexual nuclear family, the essential goodness of religion (specifically Christianity), and the importance of having one undisputed narrative about history that doesn't make anyone feel uncomfortable is a very good thing. Itellectual curiosity and exposure to new and challenging beliefs is a good thing.

                "Except they are. Young kids deciding they are trans are like dogs deciding they are vegans. It's not them making that decision."

                And what makes you think it isn't? That the "culprit" is schools? That it's bad to be trans? I get that you don't like it but, since it isn't your life and your assessment of culpability is, at best, biased and so generalized as to be useless, why should the state be involved?

                "Given the lies the activists have been saying for years"

                Which lies? Be specific.

                "that teachers, by and large, are a shade above retarded"

                Really? Most teachers are stupid? Your evidence is ... what, exactly? E specific.

                "it's better to have them avoid subjects they simply do not understand whatsoever"

                By "don't understand", you really mean "don't agree with me".

                "It is truly baffling that the idea that "hey, maybe we should not discuss sexuality with 5 year olds" is controversial."

                No it isn't. It's a reality of the world that 5 year olds (even the stupid ones) can (and do) grasp. It's more baffling why it wouldn't be discussed.

                "It's adorable that you believe punishments do not follow if you "misgender" somebody by referring to a man who thinks he's woman as a man."

                Your complaint seems that other people judge you when you say things. That's called everyday life. You can say whatever you want. And people can decide for themselves how they want to respond. That is the essence of free speech and individual liberty.

      4. Just listening to the bigots put words in my mouth then circle jerk as they refute them.

        You’re legends in your own minds.

    3. None of you seem to want to address the comment you’re all replying to.

      “ How about allowing discussion on EVERY idea that’s presented, without compromise? Especially if there is a censorship law prohibiting it.

      Only lying cancel culture censorship bigots could disagree with that.”

  11. Why Communism; As in Commie-Education is a failed ideology....
    "one-size-fits-all educational system" = Overlords indoctrination camps.

  12. Even in the wake of COVID debacles, Gallup reports that 73 percent of parents are completely or somewhat satisfied "with the quality of the education [their] oldest child is receiving."

    What's the percentage of parents who are "so tired of this bullshit that I will say I am 'completely or somewhat satisfied' with the quality of the education my oldest child is receiving"?

    1. Because obviously; the whole point is to sell your Individual souls and children to the [WE] foundation. Because nobody 'owns' themselves in the USSA - the [WE] mob does.

      Democracy ideology 101... [WE] mobs fighting for the Power of dictation and en-slavery of every member of the collective.

      Remember when the USA was about Individual Liberty and Justice?

    2. Talk about lying with statistics: 73% of multiple-child households are satisfied with less half or less of their childrens' education. Even Gallup was more honest, following it up with "Majority of U.S. adults now dissatisfied with K-12 education".

      Moreover, the statistic is stupidly diffuse/disingenuous to begin with:
      "Ron DeSantis signs 'Don't Say Gay' bill in FL" - 73 percent of parents are completely or somewhat satisfied "with the quality of the education [their] oldest child is receiving.

      "Parents targeted by DOJ for disrupting schoolboard meetings." - 73 percent of parents are completely or somewhat satisfied "with the quality of the education [their] oldest child is receiving.

      "Idaho criminalizes librarians providing explicit materials to minors without parents' consent." - 73 percent of parents are completely or somewhat satisfied "with the quality of the education [their] oldest child is receiving."

      1. But the share of the other 27% who are hyperbolically, hysterically, and sometimes criminally dissatisfied with their child's education are really, really vocal and are the ones most likely to vote on the issue.

        Ron DeSantis isn't stupid. He's locking down those parents for the 2024 Republican primary, and all he has to do is sign a bill that he supports restricting things he doesn't like and the fools will see him as their champion.

        1. "Ron DeSantis is such an idiot, doing what voters want and all."

          You can just assume it really is only a small minority. I am sure the DNC is certainly hoping that is the case.

          1. Ron DeSantis isn't doing what voters, writ large, want. He's doing what his most intolerant base wants. Because playing to the base these days is a good political strategy.

            Motivate the most extreme portions of your base with grievance claims and persecution narratives and you have raised the floor on your support.

            Most voters are multi-issue voters. This is DeSantis' move to consolidate the one-dimensional voter who sees this as the single issue to vote on.

            It's wedge politics and cynical political strategy that requires a candidate to constantly fan the flames of grievance and outrage. Unfortunately for America, it is also very effective.

            1. "Ron DeSantis isn't doing what voters, writ large, want."

              Looks like he is.

              You can run on "GROOMING TODAY. GROOMING FOREVER" if you want. I doubt it works out well.

              "He's doing what his most intolerant base wants."

              Hmm, GROOMING FOREVER now follows with "ANYBODY WHO DISAGREES WITH ME IS A BIGOT". My, that certainly is quite the winner of an argument.

              "This is DeSantis' move to consolidate the one-dimensional voter who sees this as the single issue to vote on."

              Gee, such winning arguments here. Cannot figure out why grooming is held in such low esteem.

              "It's wedge politics and cynical political strategy that requires a candidate to constantly fan the flames of grievance and outrage. Unfortunately for America, it is also very effective."

              VOTERS: Remember. NELSON knows what you want. You do not, you idiots.

              1. What is your grooming delusion? Who is grooming? Are you truly so foolish as to think this a coordinated effort to gay-ify kids?

                1. No. Just to make them more pliable for people to molest at a later time in life.

                  And the Left has had few problems covering up molestation for a long time now.

    3. "What's the percentage of parents who are "so tired of this bullshit that I will say I am 'completely or somewhat satisfied' with the quality of the education my oldest child is receiving"?"

      Zero percent. That would be such a ridiculous response to the question that you are probably the only one who has ever thought it.

  13. Close the government schools and sell the buildings to the highest bidder. Use the proceeds to pay severance to the teachers and administrators. Send the rest back to the parents so they can spend it on the private school of their choice.

    1. In your scenario, do parents get my tax dollars to send their kids to some Christian version of a madrasa?

      In most states, more non-parents are paying for your kid's education than parents. And a lot of those are the high-dollar earners hitting the top of their careers. Just look at the income distribution for 45-65 year olds and you'll see who is getting screwed hardest by the funding model for public education.

      Since we are paying more of the freight for your kid, explain why you are the only ones whose opinion matters?

      Do we get a say on how it is spent or should we just shut up and pay your welfare?

      1. "In your scenario, do parents get my tax dollars to send their kids to some Christian version of a madrasa?"

        They get their tax dollars. Just as if you spend Social Security on crack, it is not my money buying it and none of my concern what you spend your money on.

        "In most states, more non-parents are paying for your kid's education than parents. And a lot of those are the high-dollar earners hitting the top of their careers. Just look at the income distribution for 45-65 year olds and you'll see who is getting screwed hardest by the funding model for public education."

        Take up your complaints with the government.

        "Since we are paying more of the freight for your kid, explain why you are the only ones whose opinion matters?"

        In the pantheon of fucking retarded questions, this is pretty high.

        BECAUSE IT IS NOT YOUR CHILD. That is why your opinion means less than zero.

        As an example, I own my house, meaning zero mortgage. Why should I have to pay for your mortgage deduction? Seems unfair. I should have some say in how you spend that, no?

        "Do we get a say on how it is spent or should we just shut up and pay your welfare?"

        Yup. And say "sir" when you speak to us.

        1. "They get their tax dollars."

          I'm not opposed to that. Assuming that you don't mean they also get my tax dollars. But I'll warn you that your school taxes won't pay for private school for your kid.

          "In the pantheon of fucking retarded questions, this is pretty high."

          And yet it is central to the "backpack funding" and voucher programs that some parents want. The only people who get a say, according to parents, are parents. And yet they aren't the only stakeholders. Most people don't have a problem with the education their children are receiving. The funding mechanisms for schools are terrible but the schools, by and large, aren't.

          "Yup. And say "sir" when you speak to us."

          LOL! Yes, sir!

          1. "The only people who get a say, according to parents, are parents. And yet they aren't the only stakeholders."

            If you do not have kids, your opinion is not worth a shit. Honestly. Nobody gives too fucks what a non-parent thinks about what a child needs.

            1. Wow. That is about the most entitled and self-important thing I've read since I got here.

              Being a parent doesn't make you smarter or better informed or more right or in any way better able to understand issues. It makes you a parent, period. No more, no less.

              Considering teachers deal with more kids from more situations in more home sce arios over more years than any parent, they are probably the best-informed parties when it comes to children.

              But tell me again how no one else's opinion matters. And try to do it without sounding like a self-impressed jackass.

              1. "Being a parent doesn't make you smarter or better informed or more right or in any way better able to understand issues."

                About your kids, it 100% does.

                Called having skin in the game.

                When you do not, your opinion means shit.

                "Considering teachers deal with more kids from more situations in more home sce arios over more years than any parent, they are probably the best-informed parties when it comes to children."

                Have you ever MET a teacher? How about an education major in university? Because your words clearly indicate you have not.

                "But tell me again how no one else's opinion matters. And try to do it without sounding like a self-impressed jackass.
                "

                Your opinion means exactly shit. You can call truth being "Self-impressed". I call it just being realistic.

                1. "About your kids, it 100% does."

                  Agreed. But about using my tax dollars to subsidize your kid at a pri ate school because you don't like what svhools are teaching? Absolutely not, Welfare Willy. Spend your own money.

                  "Called having skin in the game."

                  Which I do. I'm paying in without getting anything from it, so I have more skin in the game than someone who is sucking on the government teat.

                  So my opinion is actually more important than yours because you are the parasite and I am the provider.

                  And since my state has complete public school choice (you can go to school down at the beaches if you're willing to drive a couple hours), I don't have any problem with our school system.

                  "Have you ever MET a teacher? How about an education major in university? Because your words clearly indicate you have not."

                  Many. And every one could whip you in a battle of wits while doing their taxes, balancing their checkbooks, and writing their lesson plan for the next week. With intellect to spare.

                  "Your opinion means exactly shit. You can call truth being "Self-impressed". I call it just being realistic."

                  Ah, yes. The truth according to you. You are very impressed with yourself and condescending to everyone else. All teachers are idiots, all supporters of intellectual curiosity and critical thinking are, bizarrely, grooming kids for sexual exploitation, and those of us who pay into the public school system owe you because you are entitled to welfare for because you have children.

                  If that's "reality", it's a whiny, pathetic, entitled world you live in. Grow up and take some responsibility.

  14. I’m not normally in favor of censorship, but “foreground” is not a verb.

    1. That is editorship, not censorship, as well as accurate.

  15. "The alleged problem [of CRT] is so endemic that conservatives typically concerned with government overreach, thought policing, and political correctness now support a top-down legislative crackdown that calls for state control of local decisions, book banning, and a single acceptable story about America's heritage,"

    I might quibble with Nick about the willingness (enthusiasm, even) of cultural conservatives to use the power of the state to coerce people into "correct" behaviors. But on education and CRT, this is spot-on.

    1. Nelson in favor of having KKK teach classes.

      1. Really? Opposing the coercion inherent in cultural conservatism and approving of people who call them out on their hypocrisy is now the same thing as being in favor of the KKK teaching classes?

        Your hyperbole game is strong. Idiotic, hut strong.

        1. KKK and CRT are the exact same philosophy. You support one, you support both.

          Enjoy that.

    2. Bureaucrats have no first amendment rights when worked their jobs as designated welfare queens

  16. Increased school choice would be nice, but there will still be controversy over what the curriculum will be in private schools, in just will not be in government. However, school choice will not get rid of government run schools, there is nowhere near a majority consensus to be able to do that. The curriculum of government run schools will remain a political issue, so what to do when activists insist on pushing hot racialist garbage like the 1619 Project and Ibrahim Kendi into the schools will be a continuing issue despite Reason type libertarians distaste at engaging the Left on social issues.

  17. Im glad I dont have children so I dont have to care about education issues beyond wanting them to stop making me pay for it.

  18. Lefties are losing a fight over control of public school discourse.

    Does anyone seriously thing that Reason would see the same problem if they were winning?

  19. It's fun to play pretend, but if a state actually instituted a full voucher system (assuming Reason writers would actually write favorably about such an event in light of progressive pant shitting is a little far fetched), anyone funded by the Kochs would get behind some kind of state minimum standards for institutions participating in vouchers which would be pushed by progs screaming about the gays and religious schools. Thus the same state indoctrination will return.

  20. Parents already have a choice: send your kid to private school or homeschool them.
    I'd be okay with a household getting a tax rebate based on their own household's portion of local taxes that pay for education. I'm not okay with them using other people's taxes to send their kids to private schools. If parent's want to send their kids to public schools that meet public education standards, I'm good with helping fund that. I should not have to fund religious education for other people's kids.

    I'm not libertarian, though, so I don't mind the existence of public schools. I'm a bit surprised that a reporter on a libertarian blog is calling for vouchers. The libertarian position on this sort of thing is pretty clear: parents should fund their children's education using their own funds and the tax money should be returned to the taxpayer.

    1. "Parents already have a choice". No. That's not practical choice except for parents who are affluent and/or have a lot of free time.

      Your post does show the general problem with "public" or "free" anything from the government. Once the government starts paying for something then non-libertarian people like you want to control everything and take people's freedom's away from them.

      Who the F are you to say people should have to pay more for religious education than non-religious education?

      1. It seems like he's taxpayer who believes in the separation of church and state. Public money shouldn't go to religious purposes, period. You want to send you kid to Our Father of Molesters Catholic School, do it on your own dime.

        If you want public funding of your kid's education, go to public school. If you don't, you can't have my tax dollars.

        1. It seems you're someone who's only read up to the establishment of a state religion part of the 1st amendment and hasn't read the "preventing free exercise thereof" part.

          If you're going to say public money for X is dependent on the religious beliefs (or lack of religious beliefs) promoted by X then that's preventing free exercise of religion.

    2. I'd tweak it to say that you get a tax break if you pay for your own kids' education or for the education of other people's kids.

      Of course they'll call it a subsidy and demand that strings be attached, but that's what they'll do in any situation.

      1. So I would get a tax credit (credit, not deduction) equal to the amount I pay in school taxes? I can get behind that.

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