My inner libertarian will come out a bit here.
I’m watching the Ontario PC leadership election unfold with some interest. I don’t find myself convinced of Mulroney and Elliott’s conservative integrity and I know Doug Ford will axe government but will waffle on social issues. Tanya Granic Allen is bringing a number of important issues back into discussion, particularly focusing on the sex-education curriculum that Kathleen Wynne is trying to get forced into the school system. Now, I like many of Tanya Granic Allen’s policies and that she is a social conservative, and I would be a fan of Ford axing government until it gets a little closer to a reasonable size. I’m interested in particular in Allen’s plan for the sex-ed curriculum.
Allen plans to consult parents on the sex-ed curriculum. And her principle in the foreground is that parents are the primary educators. This is all well and good. We need principles such as these to play in this political game. But notice that all this relies on the assumption that the government has any role in education.
To take a quick look at the bigger picture. There are a lot of people in North America who believe that the parents are the primary educators. But this is not found primarily in the public school system. Parents delegate leadership in Christian schools, or in other cases they homeschool their kids. Many of these parents recognize that most government does a really bad job at educating children (particularly secular governments).
So Tanya Granic Allen wants to axe Kathleen Wynne’s sex-ed curriculum. I’m left scratching my head wondering why she doesn’t want to axe public education and work towards privatizing education. By assuming that the government is responsible for educating our children, she is setting us up for future problems, where after a good government is out, a bad government can do what they want again. More or less she is polishing the deck for a sinking ship. I can commend her for wanting what is right within the school system, but the question is if this is even the government’s task.
There are other solutions to this problem. My parents did more to axe Wynne’s sex-ed curriculum by educating me and my siblings at home through Tree of Life Homeschool. They also have worked with various Reformed churches in Ontario to offer a viable alternative to the Public School system for parents in Northwest Toronto who don’t want their children’s heads being filled with odious ideas in public school. There is now a new gradeschool: Hope Academy. The Canadian Reformed Churches have a school system that goes across Canada offering a viable alternative to public education. Other Reformed Churches across Ontario privately educate their children through schools such as PRC. Classical Christian schools have made a showing in Ontario in places like downtown Toronto: Westminster Classical Christian Academy.
Much more could be said about privatized higher education.
Everyone has their plan. We should ask what the task of government is as compared to parents and churches. Is education even the task of the government? I would give the answer ‘no’. If you find yourself realizing that this isn’t even the task of government, then we should start by presenting other alternatives. So many individuals have already done that through private schools and home schooling in Ontario. A wise government might start by giving those who privately educate a total cut on their taxes that they would otherwise benefit from by sending their kids to public schools. I would recommend against public funding, because then we still recognize that this is the task of the government, and is built on a poor economical model called Keynesian Economics. And then they might work to privatize their public schools by putting them into the hands of families and therefore communities.
This way the government can focus exclusively on reforming their court systems. According to Romans 13, that seems to be the main task of what we would call government.