I am a political campaign consultant who has been employed by taxpayer groups across the mid-west to defeat public school bond levy votes. To date I have designed the campaigns necessary to defeat 11 out of 12 new school tax proposals at the ballot box, saving taxpayers over $175 million. These levies were for both buildings and overrides to legislative caps of growth to their general budgets. Since March of this year three of my clients defeated their new tax proposals by an average NO vote of 69.1% with accompanying large voter turnouts. Politically routing proposed government school bond levies often demoralizes them enough that the piggish-spending statist educators drop their new spending plans.
So what kind of cruel curmudgeon could I be, who hates children so much that I want to deny them a basic education by shutting off the funds necessary to their ever-so-humble teachers who only want to serve these wee-ones? What kind of a heartless clod am I anyway? Well, I am the "heartless" father of eleven children who enjoys immensely the task of overseeing and assisting the home-school teaching responsibilities faithfully carried out by my dear wife. I am the same educational "killjoy" who is grateful to God that our two oldest home-schooled sons are now enrolled at the small but very relevant Christ College in Lynchburg, VA, which, by the way refuses all government assistance. With university degrees of our own, my wife and I are anything but anti-education…just anti-statist education.
R. J. Rushdoony, in his 1963 book, The Messianic Character of American Education wrote about John Dewey, one of the founders of American public education, saying,
"Dewey's conception of the Great Community is anti-pluralistic, monistic, and medieval, requiring as it does the total unification of society under a common goal rather than permitting a pluralism of faiths, goals, and cultures. The state school is his established church, and the Great Community his New Jerusalem, the kingdom of man realized and present…It is questionable whether liberty can long survive under a continued onslaught of Deweyism. Indications of its possibly waning power are thus hopeful signs of another spring."
Here many of us are nearly 40 years later, seeking to advance the kingdom of Christ and just now beginning to catch a glimpse of what only a few men like Rushdoony saw back then.
Dewey's medieval unified Great Community is showing much greater signs of crumbling now than it did at Rushdoony's writing. The number of students now bailing out of public schools is accelerating. Dr. Brian Ray reports that the home schooling student population is now increasing in numbers of up to 15% annually, approaching 2,000,000 students and with average academic test scores exceeding the average public school scores. More traditional Christian education, though somewhat unsure of itself, is offering a superior education for its children, too. Yet I hope they don't fall prey to the voucher trap.
The statist bureaucrats in education (affectionately known as educrats) are and have been self-consciously on a mission to destroy liberty in this nation, by destroying the founding Christian faith that made it possible and replacing it with their humanist group think "New Jerusalem." It has been an offensive action for them from the beginning. They've masked their freedom-destroying, anti-intellectual efforts for decades under the ruse of educational "neutrality." Well, the neutrality myth is about over.
Responsible home-schooled children are now starting to become pervasive enough that they are publicly being well received if not seen as superior students. Though all home-school parents may not understand it, it is certainly understood by the educrats that their efforts are an offense to the statist system. The California State Department of Education's recent oppressive decree, which attempts to make most home-schools "illegal" in their state, is an indication of how offended they are.
I don't think we should stop there. Let us respectfully "offend" them in any way that we can to hasten the day of their demise and the restoration of new schools formed and guided by the voluntary association of like-minded parents, grandparents, etc. and paid for with their own money. Here are some ideas.
- Some can take their home-school children to their state legislatures and encourage them to lobby for a day. Let them be exposed to the legislators and vice versa.
- Some can hire aggressive lawyers and provide whatever support they can to a family in their state which has decided (or has been forced into) to challenge some aspect of the tyrannical truancy laws. Those who find themselves in court should take the high ground. Don't adopt a defensive posture in an attempt to appease the state. A more effective strategy is to go on the offense and prosecute their miserable system, i.e., "We want our children to receive a good education, we love them and can't risk their future by submitting them to your failing system." Then marshal all the evidence necessary to demonstrate where they are failing the average child. Advocates outside the courtroom should be making this argument to the general public, as well.
- Vote for politicians who have the courage to stand up to the state chapter of the NEA.
- Encourage a defender of liberty to politically run against all legislators who are also employed in the government education system.
And then, if you want to, start a political consulting firm as I have and go on the offense against their funding proposals that need the consent of the local electorate. In addition to the writing skills, knowledge of print and broadcast copy production, and managing phone bank skills, I have found that three more critical tasks are needed. They are:
- Impart a vision of courage to the local members of the community to be willing to challenge the local public school. Years of guilt manipulation by educrats has taken its toll and a passionate sense of the moral right of this effort needs to be imparted.
- Have the ability to quickly raise the cash needed in the community to execute the campaign strategy. This is not too difficult to develop, once one is trained.
- Design a campaign whose primary effort is to neutralize their "do it for the children" guilt trip. Once that is neutralized in the mind of the voter, it takes little additional effort for them to vote in the interests of their own pocket book. I have developed a hither-to-fore unknown tactic that has proved very effective.
Several of my clients have found that when a school bond levy is firmly defeated at the polls, not only did they not receive the anticipated retribution, but they also found they earned a new position of respect in the eyes of many voters. The chairman of one of my client committees was then elected to a county office after leading such a successful school bond effort and spent several years voting down new tax increases. In the struggle for true liberty and in opposition to tyranny, we need to become more offensive minded and show that we have a superior educational program to replace the rapidly failing government system. And we need to do everything else we can to speed it on towards its certain demise. If you need help starting such a political consulting service in your area or just have an upcoming school bond levy in your community that you might need help in defeating, feel free to contact me.
November 9, 2002