Trent England | February 25, 2022
Homeschoolers for school choice
It’s human nature: Confronted with a policy reform like school choice, people want to know, What do I get out of it?
When it comes to homeschooling families, the answer can appear to be … not much. After all, we have school choice. We do school choice every day. And many of us made that choice, in part, to avoid government meddling in our lives and our children’s minds. But the truth is, without school choice, we’re in big trouble.
At least, our kids and grandkids will suffer if we fail to empower others with the choices we value so much.
Public policy is made in the real world. Today, many kids live with a single parent or in two-parent households where both parents work outside the home. For these and other families, homeschooling appears—and may be—impossible. If they do not have the resources to pay for private school, they have no choice.
If we want to save our country, we need to do something different.
Most of these parents do not want their kids indoctrinated. They certainly don’t want them bullied or abused, whether by classmates or school employees. But these things happen, every day, in Oklahoma schools. Do we care about these kids? We ought to. They are our own kids’ future neighbors, coworkers, fellow voters. They are part of our future, like it or not.
Many conservatives ask, What has happened to our country? Why does a growing segment of the population favor socialism? How did they come to disdain freedom of speech, the sanctity of marriage, religious liberty?
You want the truth? Past generations turned a blind eye to what was going on in government-run schools. At best, they tinkered around the edges or found a personal escape path for their own family. They ignored curricula that denigrate our country and its principles. They looked the other way when teachers whitewashed Communism. They were sure everything would be fine as schools spoonfed post-modern pablum to future Bernie Bros.
If we want to save our country, we need to do something different. And if we care about kids in our community—even if only because they’re future voters—we need to change the education policy that has already done so much damage.
The promise of school choice is that it shifts power to parents. Today, education funding is almost 100-percent controlled by the government. Choice programs wrest back some of that control. To oppose this because it does not take it all back is foolish. The handful of “leaders” who oppose school choice because it’s not perfect are advocating surrender.
School choice advocates are more optimistic. We believe that reducing government control by returning some power to parents can make schools more accountable. This will increase the quality of education and reduce the misuse of schools as tools of social control. Any step like that—big or small—is a step in the right direction.
David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow
Trent England is the David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, where he previously served as executive vice president. He is also the founder and executive director of Save Our States, which educates Americans about the importance of the Electoral College. England is a producer of the feature-length documentary “Safeguard: An Electoral College Story.” He has appeared three times on Fox & Friends and is a frequent guest on media programs from coast to coast. He is the author of Why We Must Defend the Electoral College and a contributor to The Heritage Guide to the Constitution and One Nation Under Arrest: How Crazy Laws, Rogue Prosecutors, and Activist Judges Threaten Your Liberty. His writing has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Times, Hillsdale College's Imprimis speech digest, and other publications. Trent formerly hosted morning drive-time radio in Oklahoma City and has filled for various radio hosts including Ben Shapiro. A former legal policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, he holds a law degree from The George Mason University School of Law and a bachelor of arts in government from Claremont McKenna College.