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Friday, March 30, 2018

The Number Is 202-401-3000

"The Tax Collector," oil on panel, 1620-1640, by Pieter Brueghel.
(USC Fisher Museum of Art photo. Pieter Brueghel the Younger [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.)

It's tough to bring up children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4) that are attending secularizing schools. But what are the alternatives for mid-to-low-income families when tuition at many Christ-inclusive schools is very high?

First, check into financial aid through the school itself. Then, look into financial assistance through grandparents, and other caring relatives. Then look to your church.

Every church should have a “Christian Education Fund” to help young families meet the financial challenges of a Christ-inclusive education. The Church has a first-line, God-given responsibility for equipping the Saints (Eph.4:7-24), including children. Not the State. If your local church does not have a fund, see if one can be started. Or start a de-secularizing school. 

Many families today are home-educating. This requires a certain kind of parent, however, as not all parents are equally adept at home-based education. Yet, many helpful resources are available for home-educators today, including co-ops and on-line courses. 

An often untapped resource for home-educators is grandparents. Many grandparents have time on their hands, and what better way to spend it, than to engage with their own grandchildren in the process of providing a formal education at home! (BTW, an outstanding book on grandparenting is Dr. Josh Mulvihill’s terrific work, Biblical Grandparenting. It is must reading!)

For a long-term solution to the funding problem, we need to change how property taxes are dispersed to schools. In my State, the secularizing schools are the only schools receiving funding through taxes. This is grossly discriminatory, and highly inappropriate for a today's pluralistic society.

Why not allow tax dollars that property owners pay go to the educational system of their choice?

If I were Jewish, and I wanted to support the Jewish schools in my city, why shouldn’t I have this choice? If I were Muslim, and I wanted to support the Islamic schools in my town, why shouldn’t I have this choice? If I want my tax dollars to support the secularizing schools, so be it. But by choice, not by force.

Furthermore, let people send their educational tax dollars directly to the school of their choice without passing these funds through government hands at all. In the computer age, those who cheat can easily be caught.

Recently, I called the Office of the Secretary of Education to suggest this idea. You can too. Please do! The number is 202-401-3000. 

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