A Way Out of Government School Tyranny – ESAs

So you don’t want your children or grandchildren taught the progressive agenda of sexual aberration, socialism, radical environmentalism and common core. And you don’t want your kids forced to share bathrooms and showers with members of the opposite sex. You want to exercise more oversight of their education, but you can’t afford private school. Help is on the way!

ESAs (Educational Savings Accounts) return tax credit dollars to parents for educational expenses, including tuition, supplies, tutors, etc.

They are the cutting edge of educational liberty, replacing tuition tax credits and vouchers for K-12 schooling. They are quickly becoming the option of choice among school choice advocates.

Most ESA proposals would use general state tax dollars for their funding. Some are opposed to this, believing that parents should pay for their own kids’ education. Others are concerned that they would increase state control over private and home schooling. An alternative would be to allow parents to keep some of their own tax dollars via a tax credit to fund their children’s ESAs. Additionally, people who don’t have children could donate their retained ESA tax dollars to help fund private schooling for others.

One significant advantage is that ESAs can be used for a wide variety of educational expenses, including materials, tuition, etc. for both home and private schooling. They also can be “rolled over”, that is, dollars unspent in one academic year can be accumulated for use in future years.

All taxpaying parents are currently forced to support public schools, even while paying the full load for their children’s private or home schooling. This isn’t just. ESAs would move in the right direction, allowing limited tax dollars to be used for educational justice. Additionally, Inner city children are the victims of social injustice when forced to attend substandard public schools, preparing them for a lifetime of vocational struggle. ESAs would further true social justice.

ESAs empower parents to be able to freely choose and be able to afford the schooling choices they think are best for their children.

Public schools inevitably end up, to some degree, teaching the current political orthodoxy on a wide range of issues – sexuality, environmentalism, business, etc. ESAs allow parents a way out of a system that may be antithetical to much of what they believe. Getting students out of a state system that reinforces the political orthodoxy of big government means enhancing long term political freedom.

SB 437, an ESA bill, was introduced in the 2016 Oregon Legislature. This November we need to elect legislators committed to political and educational liberty, so we can make ESAs a reality In Oregon!

Plato is rumored to have said that the most important political question is “Who will teach the children?” The future culture is largely formed by those who teach the next generation. We live in times when it is becoming increasingly obvious to Christians that public schools are dangerous for the spiritual well-being of both their children, their churches, and the broader culture. ESAs are a significant way to fight back.

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