By Dr. Douglas Levesque

The Meaning of Public

What does the word ‘public’ in public education really mean?  If it means free access for children of American citizens, that’s great.  If it means free daytime childcare for illegal aliens then let’s redefine the word.  Or better yet, let’s get back to the original definition all together.

‘Public’ does not mean government interference into parental affairs.  It does not mean endless funding for poor production through federal, state and local taxes.  It does not mean tax funded unions can virtually dictate what is taught or not taught.  Lastly, it does not mean ‘secular’ or without relation to faith and religion.

An Acceptable Term

There is nothing wrong with the term ‘public’ education if that education is funded locally, determined locally, reflects local values, and is free to pursue local will.  Federal and state mandates have gone wild, removing all local distinctions and thereby creating a Washington D.C. inspired, institutionally secular, anti-religious machine.  Students success is based upon establishing a utopian social standard rather that academic achievement.  ‘Public’ should not be equated to a government mandated or administrated superstructure.

A Better Model

‘Public’ can mean parental.  Parent initiated, parent inspired, parent involved education.   King Solomon wisely charged, “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:  For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.”  -Proverbs 1:8-9.  This ‘parental’ distinction is one that makes ‘private’ education perform better and produce a better product.

‘Public’ can mean performance.  Funding should based on performance, and so should opportunity.  Schools that perform well should be funded well.  This would motivate others to copy or compete for more funding based upon successful models and hard work rather than be funded by artificial mandates.  Students that perform well should get additional schooling.  Who say’s we should have 20 years of available daycare for every student, especially poorly performing students?  Eight years of acceptable performance can open the door to two more then two more.  Of course, special needs children are always the exception. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  -II Timothy 2:15.

‘Public’ should include ‘choice’.  Local peculiarities should be allowed to be included in public offerings.  Farming classes, particular ethnic histories, even Bible surveys should be reflected in that localities ‘public’ education.  Most communities (80%)  would choose to allow academic instruction regarding the Bible.  ‘Public’ education could then be defined by wisdom and knowledge rather that by pride or Washington D.C.’s so called false measurements of equality in the classroom standards.