Monday, June 27, 2005

Fatty fatty boombalatty!

This article has been posted elsewhere in the homeschool blogosphere, so I felt it unnecessary to included it on RR&R. However, it's brief historical contrast been homeschoolers then and now raises such interesting questions juxtaposed with other recent and widely posted PA articles on PS/HS cross-participation, skyrocketing ps-cyberschool enrollment, and the creeping effects of both on small private schools that it gained new life.

After all the trailblazing work accomplished by the earlier homeschooling generations, I'd say the current generation has gotten a little too fat-n-happy. Legislatively lazy. Eaten up with entitlement envy, even. Why else would these people be so anxious to hand over these very hard-fought rights, some of which were won less than a decade ago? Because they didn't have to work for it, so they take it for granted...until its gone, that is.

Here's the pervasive myth behind the madness: My tax dollars entitle me to equal access to services provided by those taxes. Truth: No, it doesn't. It never has and never shall, no matter how much you or I wish it to be true.

In Mississippi and many other states, there is no such thing as a "school tax." Instead, money is collected from property taxes in the county, which distributes that money to the schools in the district where we live. If you own a piece of the Magnolia State, you are supporting schools in that area. Payment of those taxes does not entitle me, a homeschooling mom, equal access to public schools anymore than it does my single SIL, my childless friends, or my empty-nester neighbors, all of whom pay property taxes. They'd probably love to use the gym during off hours for a pick-up game of HORSE or maybe sit in on high school German just as I'd love to see my children in organized band or drama. Well, too bad for us. Likewise, I cannot elect to pay zero taxes for my zero access. No entitlement. No exemption. (Just theft, but that's another post).

Equal access for equal pay works only in the private sector and does not apply to government entities. Many of you are familiar with the trader's principle: I give something of value to you in exchange for something of equal or greater value to me, resulting in a voluntary exchange in which both parties experience a net gain. Knowing what we know about tax-fueled bureaucracy, what makes anyone think he or she can enter into a trade with the government and come out ahead? You may already be paying for them, but accessing school programs grants the government authority to further regulate and control you. Guess who comes out ahead?

This is not about what schools should be. This is about what they are and what they are not. Public schools aren't public parks. They're not community centers. They are an instrument of political power and coercion. If you want to create newer, better, more (or less) inclusive, broader opportunities for your homeschooled children, it is up to you. Not the government. Not "your" tax dollars. You.

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