Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The School Board Matters to Private/Homeschool Parents Too!

Too many of our neighbors ignore the school board races. In many cases, their rationale is that they don't have children in the public schools-- they are using private schools, homeschooling, etc.-- so the "school board doesn't matter to them". But the school board does matter to everyone, regardless of whether your children are in the public schools! Here are the biggest reasons, in my opinion, why everyone should care how their local public schools are managed:

  • Our nation's future is in the hands of all children, not just yours. Even if your own children are in a private or home school, there are many children whose parents don't have the income or free time to choose this option. These children, just like yours, are critically important to the future of our nation-- don't you care that they are properly educated?
  • You care about many government services that help people other than you. I'm sure you voted on the recent veterans' benefits initiative without being a veteran, right? And you support laws that help crime victims, without being a victim yourself, don't you? Similarly, we should all strive to offer the best possible public education to the children who need it, even if your family is not directly affected.
  • The public school system has some control over homeschoolers, and students may transfer between different types of schooling . The relationship between public schools, private schools, and homeschool can be complex and bureaucratic. It's important to make sure that the public school system is run by people who understand and support all the various options parents may choose for educating their children, and aren't on a crusade to punish citizens who defy the public schools. This is especially true of homeschoolers, who are officially monitored in many ways by the public school system.
  • The public school system controls and spends hundreds of millions of dollars of your tax money. It's your money that is being spent, regardless of whether it is spent specifically on your kids. Don't you want it to be spent wisely?
Please keep these issues in mind, and think carefully about that May ballot you receive in the mail. It's very important that you put people like me on the school board, who understand the various schooling options you may choose (my daughter is in a private school), and don't punish you for choosing the right alternatives for your family.   And aside from any direct effects on your family, you need to encourage wise stewardship of your tax dollars, and help to ensure that the next generation of children is successfully educated.

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