President Trump Proposes “Choice”
by Irvin Baxter
During his campaign, President Trump envisioned a plan called “Choice”. It calls for every student to be given an education voucher, which can be used at the public, private, or parochial school of their choice. Since the amount of the voucher would equal what is already being spent by the government per child, this program would not require additional funding beyond what is now being spent. This plan would do three things:
- It would create free-market style competition among schools. This would make inferior schools improve or face extinction.
- The poor, as well as the rich, would enjoy the privilege of attending private schools if they so desired.
- It would allow all Americans the freedom to choose a religious education. Presently, those who attend religious schools are severely penalized financially. They are taxed to support public schools, and then must pay tuition for their private schooling.
This discriminates especially against the poor.
Proponents of school choice believe it’s time parents were free to choose the school that their children attend. This approach will create the competition climate that presently stimulates excellence in our private and parochial schools today.
Pros & Cons
Opponents of “Choice” say they fear the quality of education will degenerate without governmental control. However, students attending private schools have consistently outscored their public school counterparts. This would obviously not be a problem, but an answer. Some fear that freedom to choose would result in the closing of many public schools. It is true that some of the non-performing schools may close due to no enrollment. We have learned from communism what happens when ill-managed and incompetent businesses are not allowed to fail. Yet, this is exactly the way American education has been ran for years. If it performs badly, just give it more money!
What About Separation of Church and State?
Opponents of “Choice” argue that allowing education vouchers for attendance at religious schools constitutes subsidizing religion. This would only be true if larger vouchers were given to religious schools than to non-religious. If this were done, government would be paying for the religious training as well as the basic education. If religious and non-religious schools receive the same amount per student, then the religious portion of the parochial school instruction must be funded by the parents or the church.
The constitution does not instruct government to be against religion. It provides for freedom of religion. Shouldn’t this include freedom to choose a religious education? This would not cost the taxpayers additional funds. It would not impose religious instruction on those who don’t want it. It only provides freedom of choice to those who believe that education without instruction of spiritual values is no education at all.
“Choice” is Vital to America’s Future
Many Americans have regarded the course of our nation with great concern. Homes are degenerating, the drug problem seems insurmountable, AIDS, alcoholism, suicide, and crime all seem to be unsolvable. Does an answer to these perplexing problems even exist? The Bible states,
“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)
Our founding fathers felt compelled
to place “In God We Trust” on our money. The U.S. Congress, at President Eisenhower’s urging, added “Under God” to our pledge of allegiance. Were these men babbling religious idiots, or did they understand that our system of government would not work without God?
Our form of government is government of the people, by the people, and for the people. In other words, it is basically self-government. When the character of people becomes eroded by immorality and addictions, self-control is destroyed. When people are ruled by their passions, government will be forced to restrain them by law. As more and more laws are passed, more and more freedoms are eroded. We in America are experiencing this exact scenario right now. Some of this responsibility must be placed at the feet of public education. It is no coincidence that the moral decline in America parallels exactly with the banishment of prayer and God from our schools by the Supreme Court.
Since it has been mandated that religious teachings be banned from public schools, the character necessary to preserve our nation cannot possibly be provided by them.
If “Choice” were enacted, it would enable religious schools to offer the quality of education they have demonstrated they can provide. At the same time, the values that have made America great and are so vital to her future, would be reinforced. The passage of the “Choice” concept may be the one thing that could reverse the downward trend of America!
What can We Do?
If you see the value of an education that can restore Judeo-Christian values to America, here are some things you can do:
- Call and write your senators and congressmen urging support for “Choice”—including religious schools.
- Promote “Choice” to friends, fellow workers, relatives, local leaders, and fellow church members.
Our CHOICE is very clear; either secular humanism or Judeo-Christian values will capture the minds of this nation. One leads to ever-increasing government and the resulting loss of freedom, while the other leads to spiritual and moral renewal and the preserving of America!