There is a great deal of uproar across the nation about school choice and vouchers. In a story last week, the Chronicle quotes a mother who reveals a sad fact about many parents:
“Vouchers don’t come with any oversight of the schools in which they’re spent,” Caudill [the mother] said. “They put the parent in the position of trading a child’s civil rights for money.”
Caudill, who has two children, apparently believes that only the government can provide oversight. She ignores the fact that consumers are the ultimate in oversight—by choosing the schools their children attend they have control over their children’s education. But Caudill would prefer to not be bothered with that responsibility.
Caudill strangely claims that parents somehow violate their child’s rights by accepting a voucher. In other words, if a parent has more educational choices, it violates the child’s rights. But if the government has complete control, the child’s rights are protected. Interestingly, Caudill is suing her local government school district because it did a poor job educating her disabled son.
Education is one of a parent’s primary responsibilities. Sadly, many parents would prefer to pass that responsibility to the government, despite the abysmal record of government schools.
If Caudill and her ilk want others making decisions about their children’s education, that is their choice. But they want to deny other parents the freedom to makes choices about their children’s education. Anti-choice parents aren’t simply opposed to making choices for their own children; they want to deny that freedom to all parents.
Consider the lesson that this teaches to their children: If you assemble enough like-minded people and make enough noise, you can violate the rights of others. If you don’t want to take responsibility, you can pass it off onto government. And that is a very sad lesson.