Every child is unique
Children are not made in factories or in cookie cutter molds. People don’t come in “one size fits all.” Each child’s education should fit that child’s unique needs and potential. A child’s best future may come from public, private, charter, or home schooling, or some combination that changes over the years. It may come from college preparation or from a technical apprenticeship. The public school system should never get in the way of a parent helping their child find their destiny.
Every parent’s voice matters
As children grow and move from grade to grade, from school to school, and from one stage of life to another, from infancy to adulthood, family is crucial to every child’s upbringing. Parents, or other guardians, have the right to raise their children according to their own standards and beliefs, provided that the rights of children to be free from abuse and neglect are also protected. Parents should never have to feel like they are fighting against the system for the future of their children.
Teaching financial responsibility by example
We live in a world of constant change. Financial responsibility is a crucial skill that can help every young person navigate uncertain futures with confidence. The earlier children learn wisdom and frugality, the better off they will be in life. But for children to learn responsible behavior, the adults around them need to act responsibly. We need to treat every dollar spent on education as a scarce resource, and make sure we are choosing our spending carefully. Spending on technology that is proven to improve education can be worthwhile, but we need to avoid throwing money away on software and gadgets that don’t provide bang for the buck and waste the teacher’s time. It’s time to make responsible choices.
Cutting taxes to help families
Every dollar taken from parents and grandparents in taxes for the schools is a dollar that can’t be spent on a child’s life outside of school. Our children live rich lives outside of the school day and the school year, and parents and grandparents deserve the freedom to support their children in these activities. Whether it is a STEAM camp, martial arts, dance classes, or sports, parents shouldn’t have to struggle against rising property taxes to pay for their child’s passions.
No strings attached, thanks
National politicians love to brag about how much of your money they invest in education. What they don’t mention is that local educators get cents on the dollar for all education money that has to pass through state and federal bureaucracies. Every dollar that you are taxed by the IRS to pay for education gets returned to the teachers as pocket change. Even worse, every federal and state grant comes with terms and conditions, rules for compliance which are all too often written by “experts” who have never worked inside a classroom. Free stuff that costs us the ability to make decisions at a local level isn’t really free.
Local solutions don’t have to be partisan
America has been divided by partisan politics at the national level. Locally, we are all still neighbors, friends, and family. We don’t have to agree on everything to find solutions we can all live with. I don’t have to agree with all of my neighbor’s political or religious views in order to respect and support them as a parent. I can disagree with you strongly while still believing that you have your children’s best interests at heart. This, too, is a lesson we need to model for our children: How to disagree openly and honestly without being ugly about it.