Ron Paul Addresses How We Can Solve The Problems With Public Education In America

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Answer by Ron Paul, Former Congressman from Texas, on Quora,

I think the first thing we have to do to solve these problems with education is to recognize that the federal government should not be the director right now. We have a Department of Education spending billions of dollars. Many students think that the only way they can survive is to go to college, get a degree and run up a debt and then leave college with a $50,000, $60,000, or $100,000 debt. Then there are special loans where a student isn’t even allowed to declare bankruptcy. All of these loans are very harmful.

I would suggest that we look to the constitution for guidance. The constitution has given no authority for the federal government to be involved, and yet they are involved in setting the curriculum. I think there is an agenda there. I don’t think there is any doubt. There are some people who believe that parents are irresponsible. Just because a few aren’t doesn’t mean that everybody has to give up the responsibility and deliver to the government because, in many ways, if education is universal it becomes indoctrination. The bigger a government is, the more control it has. All authoritarian governments, whether it’s a fascist state or a communist state or other types of authoritarian state, generally want control. Our country continues to move in the direction of getting control of the teaching of our children, even at a younger age. First it was Kindergarten, then it was pre-Kindergarten. Now it’s even before that.

We have to challenge that and say that is not a solution. Parents have to speak out and find out what the options are and demand they have the right to opt out. There are so many things that the government is involved in, and it is very difficult to get around it because once you pay all of your taxes to go to school you don’t have much left over to maybe go to private school. Also, parents who are concerned should look at homeschooling because where they might spend $15,000 per child in some of these school districts and not get an education and be exposed to all of these dangers, at the same time some homeschoolers can be educated for $500 a year and get educated. People need to look at that. There should be as much competition as possible.

It would be horrible if homeschooling and private schooling were made illegal, and some people would like to do that. It is crucial that these options are available at the state level. Some districts offer voucher system. I don’t particularly favor the voucher because the government can dictate the same rules on the schools that might take the voucher, so it’s not true competition. A better way to do this would be to give tax credits to individuals so they get their money back if they are going to assume more responsibility.

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