Family Research Council

Who Should Decide How Children Are Educated?

By Jack Klenk

Who has the primary responsibility for making critical decisions about the education of school-aged children? Their parents? Or government and the school system it operates? That is a fundamental question about education policy that faces the United States as it attempts to build educational institutions for the twenty-first century.

Parents pay for public education through mandatory taxes. Most send their children to public schools, attend parent-teacher meetings, encourage their children to do homework, and bake cookies for school events. However, decisions about what schools their children attend and what education programs the schools use are typically made by the system’s own professionals. In short, parents fund, support, and cooperate with the school system, but having power over their children’s education is another thing altogether.

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