Fixing public education in America, one state Legislature at a time

As a nation, we have a lot of problems. And many of them do not have legislative remedies. But some do. And a red tsunami is headed our way for 2022. We should start now getting our state and federal legislatures ready. Perhaps the most important thing is to fix education because the battle for education is the battle for America. The public has been alerted and many are enraged. This is the battle for patriots to ride to the sound of the guns.

Clarice Feldman applauded the fact that anti-Critical Race Theory (“CRT”) moms have U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and the National School Boards Association backing away from their threat to treat the moms as “domestic terrorists.” That is wonderful, but the prescient Feldman makes clear that this is not enough.

John Green agrees that there’s more to be done, urging people to act because “Now’s the time to finish off the leftists in our school systems.” He recommends stepping up the peaceful protests but there’s actually more we can do and pushing our lawmakers for new legislation is the place to start.

While CRT energized the mothers, most CRT does not originate with the school boards. That’s because school boards are agents of the state, in particular, of each state’s education department.

A school district is regarded in law as a “municipal corporation”, alongside cities and counties. Specifically, a school district is a “special district,” alongside water districts, sewer districts, fire districts, irrigation districts, etc. What this means is that a local school board is but a cog in a much larger machine.

While it is true that the school board sets school policy, that policy must comport with state law, which consists of statutes, administrative regulations, and court decisions. Much of a school board’s work is maintaining compliance with state law.

Every state has a state department of education, and that department has a state school board and a “state superintendent of schools” (or some such title). Statutes authorize the education department to promulgate administrative regulations.

To see the state statutory law for your state, just ask your search engine for “[Name of state] state school law” or similar wording, and you will be astonished at the quantity of statutory law binding school boards. Similarly, search for your state’s department of education, and there you will find the administrative regulations binding on all local school boards.

There are two evident fixes to the problem: one retail, one wholesale. The retail fix is homeschooling, which is done one family at a time. The wholesale fix is legislation.

Census Bureau data reports that homeschooling has doubled since the pandemic began. This is great news! Perhaps where a child’s parents agree about home schooling’s importance the financial challenges will not be as daunting as feared and will be offset by other rewards.

Just imagine what would happen if, at the stroke of midnight tonight, every mother with school-age children decided that she would begin homeschooling tomorrow morning. In the morning there would be no traffic congestion, the schools would be empty, and the system would collapse, along with the massive tax structure that feeds the beast.

Since families would have only a single breadwinner, they would have less discretionary money to spend and merchants would adjust their pricing to remain competitive. There would be an uptick in pain, and a corresponding uptick in joy.

Alternatively, the legislative remedy is meant to unbutton the left’s grip on the system. What is necessary here is to repeal the laws that compel school boards to hire only certified teachers and to revoke the state department of education’s authority to promulgate administrative regulations. The latter step would restore that department’s function to its original role of distributing state funding to local school districts according to daily attendance records.

The certification requirement is the central knot that ties the school boards hands and keeps the system under the left’s control. Eliminate the certification requirement, thus allowing school boards to hire whomever they damn well please, pursuant to the rubric “qualified, not certified,” under the watchful eye of the parents, and most of the problems affecting education will dissolve.

I had a personal experience with this. I was a mathematics major in college. In the fall of my senior year, I had the curriculum of my final year all planned out with five math courses each semester. A friend inquired, “What job are you going to get when you graduate?”

Poor naive me: I had never thought about that. Some soul searching led me to decide I would become a high school math teacher. The college education department then burst my bubble. To become a high school math teacher, I had to be certified, the required education coursework for which would consume my entire senior year. Hello education courses; goodbye mathematics. (What did I do? I chose mathematics.)

Through legislation, we can set school boards free to administer their districts, empowering their constituents to control their children’s education. So, look up the law and let your state legislators know what you want.

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