An article posted on February 14, 2020 by opinion writer, Martin Barillas (LifeSiteNews) says, “A Mississippi Democrat introduced a bill in the state House that would force parents who homeschool their children to 'provide the same curriculum' as government schools in Grades 9 through 12.”
The article further states, “According to the Mississippi Center for Public Policy (MCPP), if passed, the bill 'would give the state authority to dictate what parents teach their children and how they teach it.' " While the bill focuses on mandating history and government curriculum, the pro-family, pro-life organization argues that homeschool parents have the right to educate their children. They also argue that homeschoolers “generally make that choice because they want to set the curriculum that’s appropriate for their children free of state mandates. Whether or not homeschool families in Mississippi teach Mississippi history or government—and we know most do—that is the choice of the parents, not the state.”
So the question is, is it within the rights of the state to mandate what individual parents or private educational institutions teach their students?
I believe most Americans acknowledge that government benefits when citizens are educated, but citizens are not best served when their only opportunity is government education. If the statement is true, then what constitutes education that is non-government? Is it a matter of funding? Is it a matter of curriculum choice? Is it a matter of parental and/or organizational authority and control? Is it a matter of freedom from government regulation of instructional goals, content, process, and testing? What is it?
Whenever legislators attempt to infringe on education provided by private individuals or enterprises to force “one size fits all” government mandates, these attempts do not best serve students, families, and communities. Like all industries, education is strengthened and improved by creativity, innovation, and diversity. In the ideal system, school opportunities would live or die based on public acceptance and demand. Some call this concept the "Free Market."
The government certainly has its place in supporting and promoting the education of its citizens. It does well when it supports diversity and education choice and rejects the urge to further mandate and regulate.
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