So a federal judge in California ruled that home-schooled kids must be taught by a certified teacher (Falk 5).
Now, the judge made this decision based on an education law passed in California in 1950. But I'm going to go ahead and say it: this has nothing to do with a law passed in 1950. This has everything to do with our bumbling, bureaucracy of a government again stepping into the lives of citizens. It is a microcosm of a bigger picture.
I understand that many parents home-school their kids so as to cloister them from a world they believe to be too secular, and I know that many of them teach their kids that global warming doesn't exist, and that the world is 10,000 years old.
Do I think these people are narrow-minded nuts that would rather sign on to superstition and myth rather than empirical evidence that gives much credence to a planet billions of years old and getting hotter as hell everyday?
Do I think, therefore, that the government should step in and make sure such narrow-minded nuttiness is curbed as much as possible so as to save the commons from such idiocy?
Nay, good readers, nay.
Here is the scenario: The Federal government muddles with an education issue in California. Advocates of said education issue get mad. The governor also gets mad and declares that he will fight this decision. The system gets more bogged down, nothing really gets done, and we all pay for it in one way or another.
People of this country have a right to be stupid individuals. They have the right to opt out of the federal education system and do their own thing. They pay taxes too, and they can decide what they want to do, even if we all think they are the aforementioned narrow minded nuts.
And that is why, as a practical libertarian, I say: leave em alone judge! Don't worry your pretty little gavel about whether or not home-schooled kids are getting what the Federal government defines as education. Do we really need to talk about the broken machine known as the Department of Education?
That is what is happening here, not a decision based on a technicality, but continued statist intervention into the lives of individual citizens.
I've got an idea! Get rid of the DoE, give us our money back, create the legal framework to protect competition of private education institutes, thereby providing as many educational options as possible with lower prices, and let individuals decide ALL of their educational needs for themselves and their children.
Hell, I'll even compromise and say give us our money back and let each independent state maintain it's own department of education. At least that way, those legislators couldn't hide in some tower in D.C.
Is it practical to say that education can be handled by the states, and even the people?
Will some states have crappy education systems?
Should we allow that?
But why, TL, why?
Because to be free, we must allow others to be free. They must be free to create and manage their own affairs. To assume that crappy educational for all is worth a Federal DoE, consider this:
They take our money for this department, yet schools are being forced to make contracts with soda pop companies to get money. Now, maybe a new administration will come in, take more of our money, and seemingly improve the system a little bit; but then those same resources are subject to the next administration's moral whim, and they keep the extra money the previous administration took while letting the program degrade.
I have 60 years of American domestic policy history on my side to show the pendulum constantly swinging, and costing the people ever more as the years go on. In order for the system to improve, we the people MUST reclaim it.
The federal government cannot manage education anymore than it can manage the other social issues facing us today.
Falk, William, et al, eds. "The World at a Glance..." The Week. 21 Mar. 2008: 5.