My student body, my choice?

applebooks3Not, apparently, if you’re a Virginia Democrat.

Virginia Democrats, Ralph Northam in particular, don’t know what do with E.W. Jackson. An African-American conservative who actually believes the Bible from which he preaches.

So expect them to label him as extreme, or crazy or weird. Hearing those attacks this fall will be easier than catching a re-run of “Friends.”

The latest attack? Jackson wants to “divert money from public education.”

Never mind that public education isn’t doing such a great job with the money they’re already spending.

The 2011 Report Card on Education issued by the American Legislative Exchange Council grades Virginia with a C- with regard to public education. Virginia spends roughly $11,805 per student, ranking the state 25th in the nation in terms of funding.

Yay us. We’re mediocre.

Back in March, D.j. McGuire pointed out that Virginia sends roughly $6.6 billion a year to localities for education.

McGuire quotes Mark Perry from the American Enterprise Institute who notes:

Virginia public schools led the nation in “educrat bloat,” with 130,100 non-teaching staff compared to only 70,947 teachers. That means that there were 183.4 public school administrators and non-teaching staff for every 100 teachers, or a ratio of almost two administrators and non-teaching personnel for every one teacher!

We could argue about whether or not per pupil spending has a direct relationship on student performance…but we won’t. What is not debatable is that the vast majority of education funding doesn’t get anywhere near the student.

I am new to the home schooling movement. My wife and I did not take our son out of public schools because we believe public schools are socialistic cesspools of indoctrination. While there may be some truth to that, we took him out because he’s highly gifted and tests off the charts. It’s not that the gifted program he was in was a bad program. It was that the program couldn’t provide the individual instruction based on the way he learns. We couldn’t afford a private school situation, and that may not have been the solution for him as well, so we went the home school route. He just passed the seventh grade with above average or exceptional scores in all areas.

That’s my story. Yours may vary.

But this is not just an issue of home schooling. Sure, that’s part of the equation.

The real issue is one of parental choice and allowing parents to be able to provide the best educational opportunities for their children. Sometimes, a lot of times, that’s not public education.

Parents need the opportunity to consider charter schools and private school options.

But what I find difficult to comprehend is the liberal mindset that tells you it’s okay to murder your pre-born child, but once that child is here you must depend upon the government to educate, and in many cases, feed that child.

It makes no sense.

The attack on E.W. Jackson? We should note it wasn’t anything his campaign has been pushing, but he did respond when asked.

On the Rob Schilling show, Jackson was asked about the issue. When asked about opportunities for home schoolers, Jackson said that it would take a constitutional amendment to allow those who home school or use private or charter schools to opt out of the system.

Jackson said, “I think homeschooling still faces a lot of barriers, and I think we got to make sure that that homeschooling family, just like any other family that decides to send their child to a private school, Christian school or whatever it is, that that homeschooling family gets the resources that would otherwise be spent in a public school.”

Cue the hysteria. It’s for the children, after all.

That’s exactly the point.

While the left wants to make this about the funding of the education establishment, Jackson is looking out for what is best for the child and the parents.

E.W. Jackson believes in empowering parents to have access to all available educational opportunities.

My child, my choice…right? Oh…yeah…

The VEA and the education establishment are threatened by this because it threatens the status quo.

To quote Ronald Reagan, “Status quo, you know, is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in’.”

Parental choice may threaten the status quo, but it will also improve and strengthen Virginia’s educational system. Contrary to what the VEA might tell you it will actually save money in the long run. More importantly it will give children in some of the poorest communities a desperately needed opportunity for a better education.

Jackson suggests that an amendment to the state constitution could allow the General Assembly to enact legislation to put parental choice back in the hands of the parents, where it belongs.

Parental choice would give Virginia’s more than 1.2 million school children the equal opportunity to pursue excellence in education, whether at home, in private schools or in charter schools.

Perhaps a simple math lesson is needed as well. Based on the per pupil cost for education, fewer children would reduce the overall expense of education. Would it not?

Of course it would also greatly reduce the “need” for so many administrators.

Oh. He went there.

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