But you already knew that. Did you know that it has been this way for almost 400 years? Gary North has the skinny on its history:
POLITICALLY CORRECT EDUCATION
Tax-funded schools are a means the establishment uses to place limits on what is considered intellectually respectable. It is all about political correctness. It has been ever since the Puritan oligarchs in Massachusetts made local tax-funded, pastorally-policed education mandatory in every village, beginning in 1642. The General Court (legislature) passed this law in 1642.
That the selectmen of every town, in the several precincts and quarters where they dwell, shall have a vigilant eye over their brethren and neighbors, to see, first, that none of them shall suffer so much barbarism in any of their families, as not to endeavor to teach, by themselves or others, their children and apprentices as much learning as may enable them perfectly to read the English tongue, and knowledge of the capital laws, upon penalty of 20 shillings for each neglect therein; also, that all masters of families do, once a week, at least, catechize their children and servants in the grounds and principles of religion.”
Five years later, the General Court added this:
“It being one chief project of that old deluder, Satan, to keep man from the knowledge of the Scriptures… and to the end that learning may not be buried in the grave of our forefathers… It is therefore ordered… that every township within this jurisdiction, after the Lord hath increased them to the number of fifty householders, shall then forthwith appoint one within their town to teach all such children as shall resort to him, to write and read… And it is further ordered, that where any town shall increase to the number of one hundred families or householders, they shall set up a grammar school, the masters thereof being able to instruct youths so far as they may be fitted for the university.”
A little less than two centuries later, tax-funded churches ended in Massachusetts (1833), but tax-funded schools continued. Horace Mann, a Unitarian lawyer, was put in charge of a new state department of education in 1837. They are the model today. These are established churches. There are dogmas, all Darwinist. There is a priesthood: state-certified teachers. There are seminaries: universities. State schools function as centers of social and intellectual control, just as they did in 1642.
But, as in Massachusetts after 1800, these established churches are losing members. They are less and less influential. There are institutional alternatives. The voters still vote to fund them, just as voters did in 1800. But the handwriting is on the wall: “You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting.”
Tax-funded schools are like the wounded man on the stretcher who has been assessed as dying, no matter what.