Thursday, January 10, 2008

Freedom of Education

Nancy Salvato writes, in The New Media Journal:

As an education reformer, I read about education every day. I read about ways to hold institutions of higher learning accountable for their education curriculum, I read about how important it is to have highly qualified teachers, and I read how students not receiving an equitable education should be afforded the right to attend private schools or charter schools with the tax dollars set aside for public education. While all of these are noble ideas, none of them address the real problem with education.

The real problem is that nowhere is it written in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights that there is freedom of education. Unlike religion, which received protection from the faction of the majority by the Bill of Rights which states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” nowhere is education specifically addressed in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. Yet, today, we have in place a Department of Education funded by the taxpayers’ money and a public education system funded by the taxpayers’ money.

I am convinced that James Madison, who fought tooth and nail against using public money for religion, would have felt the same way about education. How can I be so certain about this? No one, especially James Madison, wanted the state to support a single system of religious beliefs. Furthermore, against majority opinion, James Madison fought against a general assessment tax which would have given “individual citizens the option of designating his taxes to any one of a number of denominations.”

Read it all

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