Homeschool Advocate Working for Board of Education

Some of the most interesting and introspective times in life are the time when we face moral dilemmas.

A potential job opportunity came across my email inbox from a friend. I clicked the link that was supplied in the email and read up on the position. I met the major qualifications including a bachelor’s degree in business. The pay is good and the benefits are enviable. It sounded like an interesting job and it would be a secure position.

By this time you are no doubt asking yourself “what organization posted this job opportunity that seems to have my good friend in such a dilemma?” The organization is none other than the local Board of Education and therein lies the proverbial rub. Not only have I been a consistently staunch advocate of homeschooling, but also I have consistently opposed the liberal idea of government providing for more needs than the Constitution allows. I believe, along with many conservatives, that the federal government should be more limited in its size, scope, and influence than is currently the case. The Constitution is clear in that the purpose of the federal government is to “establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity”. I have applied this limitation on government to the area of public education quite vehemently in the past. But now I stand to benefit from the very institution that I have opposed. It is much like the story of the good Samaritan. The injured Jewish man, who normally would have shunned a Samaritan, benefited from that which he would have formerly despised.

Now in the same way that I look to the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, “the author and perfecter of our faith,” when I have a question regarding Christianity, I look to our founding fathers, the founders and framers of our republic, when I have a question regarding the role of government. I look to founders like Benjamin Rush who was a supporter and promoter of public education and wrote multiple proposals for such. He was dubbed “The Father of Public Education Under the Constitution” (bet it was hard fitting that on a business card). Even Thomas Jefferson stated in a letter to John Tyler, “I have indeed two great measures at heart, without which no republic can maintain itself in strength: 1. That of general education, to enable every man to judge for himself what will secure or endanger his freedom. 2. To divide every county into hundreds, of such size that all the children of each will be within reach of a central school in it.” These are two of the major founding fathers and both signers of the Declaration of Independence. Clearly there is a place for public education in America regardless of the fact that it is often execute poorly in our day. Not to mention there are families that are structured such that it makes home education difficult or even impossible

I suppose my conclusion will be like the advice I gave a family member of mine who questioned whether or not he and his wife should take advantage of WIC. My point was that since their tax dollars pay for WIC whether or not they support such state welfare in principle, then they would be justified in taking advantage of what they have to pay for anyway. I suppose that since my tax dollars support public education, then there is no moral reason that I should deny myself any of its benefits.

What would you do in a case like this?

Josh H.

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