Reformation Lutheran Church
Anno Domini 2001
Position Paper: Public Education
The various political issues surrounding the education of children involve a fundamental question of authority. Who has authority and therefore responsibility for the education of children?
The answer guides conclusions to questions concerning vouchers, home schooling regulation, compulsory education, participation of home schooled or private schooled children in government school-sponsored extra-curricular activity.
We aver that parents have been given the authority by God to rear their children in the manner they deem fit. This does not mean they have absolute authority (none has such authority – not even the currently aspiring world emperor, the United Nations). Parents may not sovereignly kill their children. Execution of incorrigible delinquents can only occur after parents bring their case before local authorities (Deut. 21:20).
The state has no authority to regulate home schooling nor compel school attendance generally.
Since the state (the county authority) taxes its citizens, forcing some citizens to pay for schools they well deem to be counterproductive vis-à-vis a Christian upbringing, the provision of vouchers is a just remedy,
As children are a gift to parents from God and not the state (Ps. 127:3), it remains the right and duty of parents to bring up children (“in the admonition of the Lord”) in the way they deem fit (Deut. 6:5-9).
General compulsory public education was established in Europe in the midst of the Reformation on the assumption that a Christian society is best preserved and the citizens best served by compelling the children to be literate and able to read the Scriptures. Whatever strength those arguments had in the Christian past is lost in the present atheistic government school system. The atheistic state has no authority to compel its citizens to learn how to think without acknowledgment of the God who grants brains. The atheistic state has no authority to deny parents the right to rear their children in home schools; neither has it the authority to regulate home schooling.
Since the state improperly taxes its citizens for purposes of providing elementary and secondary education, it ought to provide relief by voucher for those who would opt out of the government schools.