Opposition to Advancement of Public Funds into Private Education: An Oklahoma Education Liberty Coalition Statement
- We hold that all Oklahomans are endowed naturally with certain unalienable rights, which predate and supersede any governmental or cultural position or practice, and which by definition shall not be given or taken away.
- Primary among these rights is our right to exercise sole and ultimate authority with respect to direction and oversight of our children’s education.
- Our state Constitution provides for “a system of free public schools” and also for an “other school” and “other means of education.” The intent of our state founders was that “other school” (now synonymous with private school) and “other means of education” (now synonymous with parent led and entirely privately funded home education) were separate from “public” education.
- Additionally, our Constitution directed the Legislature to, “by appropriate legislation,” raise and appropriate funds for support of “common schools.” No such direction was given to raise and appropriate public funds for private education.
- Once public funds are allocated toward any venue or form of education, the target of such allocation becomes public education. This is how we will lose private education entirely with the advancement of public funding into remaining remnants of privately funded education.
- Participation in publicly funded education entails surrender of ultimate parental authority to oversee such. This is a natural byproduct of an incontrovertible tenet of life, namely “He who pays the Piper, calls the tune,” and is in fact written into our Constitution, which states that “supervision of instruction in the public schools shall be vested in a Board of Education...” Unfortunately, this bureaucratic supervision has become monstrous and largely unaccountable to parents.
- The answer to loss of parental control in publicly funded education is NOT to grow government involvement in education and extend government’s “instruction supervision” reach to all forms of education, and all children. This will, of course, not result in more parental control. It will result in government monopoly control over education, an entire “giving away” (against our wishes) of our unalienable right to exercise ultimate parental authority in education, and elimination of meaningful choice. It will also increase potential for fraud and ability of special interest groups to influence governmental control.
- We do not disparage those who participate in, or support, public education. We support initiatives that reduce government bureaucracy, as this makes the public education system more accountable to parents and taxpayers.
- True parental choice has been a cherished, trumpeted, and advocated value of Oklahomans since statehood. The adoption and utilization of this term to represent the choice between government funded education forms is illegitimate.
- We who have chosen to singularly rely on private means for our children’s education have done so at immeasurably worthwhile sacrifice, for this is the choice that leads to education freedom. Individual responsibility is Oklahoma’s legacy. Government handouts do not empower. The more government grows, the less fruit of our labors we keep, and the harder it becomes for families to choose private education. The proper facilitation of private education choice is facilitation for all families to keep more of their own money to begin with and encouragement of private assistance.
- We fervently oppose all advancement of public funds into remaining remnants of privately funded education in Oklahoma. Public funds must be kept in the public school system.
- Preservation of financially separate, privately funded education is the only way to: preserve all Oklahomans’ right to exercise sole and ultimate authority with respect to direction and oversight of our children’s education; preserve education freedom; preserve curiosity, ingenuity, creativity, open dialogue, tolerance and truth in education; and preserve freedom overall, for all.
- In order to secure the blessings of education Liberty to ourselves and our posterity, we make and promulgate this statement.
Signed, Oklahoma Education Liberty Coalition, March of 2022: