20 August 2013
by Gary DeMar
The average cost to educate one government (public) school child is staggering when compared to private school education and homeschooling. A 2010 CATO Institute study revealed the following:
“Real spending per pupil ranges from a low of nearly $12,000 in the Phoenix area schools to a high of nearly $27,000 in the New York metro area. . . Real public school spending is more than 75 percent higher than the estimated median private school spending of just under $7,000” (1, 5).
Of course, the average household never sees this type of expenditure since the money used for government education is confiscated from every property owner in a school district. A household with no children will still have its property taxed to pay for the education of other people’s children.
Somehow most Americans are OK with this. And why shouldn’t they be? They are getting a “product” at a discounted price because the price is subsidized by force through confiscatory taxing policies.
What is not often taken into account is the fact that children in government schools are taught a specific type of educational “product” six hours every day, 5 days each week, 10 months every year, for at least 12 years. And what is the “product”? American public education is similar to 1984’s Ministry of Love where children are viewed as “thought criminals” who are trained to become loyal subjects who end up being brainwashed into genuinely loving Big Brother. “Everything for the State and nothing outside the State,” as fascist leader Benito Mussolini (1883–1945) said.
If we’re going to turn out the statists from every level of government, then we need to stop sending them to be indoctrinated by the State. (I realize there are exceptions. Everybody says this. “It’s the other schools that are so bad.” Of course, the other schools are saying the same thing about their version of the “other schools.”)
J. Gresham Machen (1881–1937), the great defender of the Christian faith against Modernism, saw where government-controlled education would lead. The following is from his 1926 testimony before the House and Senate Committees on the Proposed Department of Education: “If you give the bureaucrats the children, you might as well give them everything else as well.”
A more recent study on homeschooling had some startling results, the most significant of them is in the area of academic achievement. “On average, homeschoolers rank in the 87th percentile for national standardized tests.”
Bill Flax, writing in “Want to Tell The State To Stick It? Homeschool Your Kids,” notes:
“It’s not only national spelling bees and similar competitions where homeschooled students have become a force. Studies consistently have homeschooled students scoring 15-30 points above national averages. A recent survey by Brian Ray covering 11,739 students showed homeschooled children tested at the 86th percentile. These stellar results held for boys and girls; all incomes; whether or not the parent had teacher credentials. . .”
But the most extraordinary statistic is how much it costs per student per year to get these results: $500 —$1.37 per day, the cost of a soft drink or a cup of coffee.
If you want to transform America, the place to start is not Washington — although it’s necessary to stop the pain inflicted upon us — it’s in the area of education. For more than 50 years we’ve been trying to “save the public schools.” Public schools are government schools. They don’t need saving; they need to be abandoned. They are a breeding and feeding ground for growing the State.