The free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the invaluable rights of man, and every citizen may freely speak, write and print on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.
Pennsylvania Constitution, Declaration of Rights
Imagine a world where the United States or Pennsylvania government had full control over the press. All debate on current affairs was carefully censored and controlled to ensure that the public never received information contrary to what the government approved. Such a world would be intolerable to our founding fathers, which is why both our state and federal constitutions have clauses protecting the freedom of the press.
Yet in our modern day, state-controlled and state-censored education is often accepted without question as a completely benign addition to society. Rather than censor the people’s understanding of current events, the state now controls the developing worldview of millions of children — the future voters and taxpayers of our state. Even if I took no issue with the curriculum that controls our children’s education, the very existence of state-censored education would concern me, and it should concern you. Though subtle in its influence, public education is one of the greatest threats to a thinking and independent populace who can recognize tyranny and keep the government in check.
I say that as someone who actually went to college to become a public school teacher. In 2003, I started attending Kutztown University with a major in secondary education, and a concentration in Spanish. However, as I became more exposed to the state’s control over education (in particular the abuses of No Child Left Behind), I began to understand how much of my Christian witness would need to be suppressed or compromised in order to be a part of that system. So I turned to study software engineering instead.
As I’ve come to think more biblically about the subject of education, I am now a huge advocate of homeschooling; I view it as the biblical model of how God would have people educate their children (e.g. Deu 11:18-21). The only examples of state-controlled education we have in scripture are negative, such as when Nebuchadnezzar took the children of Israel captive, to educate them in all the ungodly ideologies of Babylon.
Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility, youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king’s palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans.
Notably, in this passage the state is interested in educating children because it wants them to develop into good servants of the state. Rather than grounding education in familial love for the child, tailored by a parent to the child’s specific strengths and weaknesses, the Babylonian state separated children into class distinctions based on their position, appearance and skill, and favored those who tested high.
This is very similar to what the state does today with skill-based educational tracks like B, A, Honors and AP programs, which favor those who test well. My sister and I, for example, tested into the “Mentally Gifted” program of Longstreth Elementary and William Tennent High School, receiving all of the distinction and benefits that came with being classified as “intelligent.” This offered me several educational and scholarship advantages over my peers and other siblings, who as grown men and women have nevertheless proven themselves to be equally valuable contributors to society; they simply didn’t match the particular form of intelligence that the state was looking for at the time.
Even with the advantages of an elevated class distinction however, the best three years of my education were unquestionably those of middle school, when my mother homeschooled me. She was untrained by any certified, state-approved board of education, yet the quality of education I received was so much higher because it was fueled by a mother’s love for her children, and desire for them to succeed. Homeschoolers are unfortunately penalized for participating in a free market of ideas. Through property tax, they are forced to pay for the state-controlled education of other people’s children (a practice known as socialism), while also paying out of pocket for their own homeschooling time and resources.
Because of these considerations, I view privatizing education as a key area of repentance for Pennsylvania. The civil government has authority from God to punish evil and reward righteousness (Rom 13). It does not have authority to educate children. The U.S. and Pennsylvania departments of education should not exist, and they certainly should not be censoring ideas; rather, truth and error should compete in a free market (Tit 1:9-13). Whether done by private institutions or homeschooling, education should always be selected and paid for by the family, without any interference, regulation, or taxation of the state — laissez faire.
My Platform: REPENT
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. (Jhn 3:16-19)
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One of the easiest ways you can support the campaign is to show your support, by placing a sign in your yard. We are giving FREE yard signs to our supporters who live in PA District 29 — that is Buckingham, Ivyland, Warminster and Warwick/Jamison. All you need to do is submit the form below, and a volunteer will stop by your home to drop off a sign.
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~ Nate Schmolze