September 24, 2012 by Anders Ingemarson
“Separating state and education sounds fine and dandy, but how do we achieve it, how do we get from here to there? Can you bring that pie-in-the-sky down to earth and give us an action plan?”
I can. Here’s how my president of choice would address it:
“Fellow Americans, today I’m extremely proud to announce the launch of the ‘Freedom In Education’ initiative that will put us on the path to an education system that respects the individual rights of all Americans [elaborate on rights, and absence thereof in education].
“The ‘Freedom In Education’ initiative consists of three parts:
- At the federal level, we will end all government involvement in education by the end of my term in office. To that end, I’m instructing all federal agencies to cut education related spending by 25% per year in absolute terms over the next four years. My administration will also work with Congress to repeal all federal regulation in education. Joining me here today are Representative X and Senator Y who will head the congressional “Freedom In Education” caucus. As they will tell you, they have already received commitment from [insert number] members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, and the number is increasing by the day.
- At the state level, we will support the 50 states in moving towards freedom in education with the goal of eliminating state involvement. I am proud to announce that we have received the commitment from the governors of [insert 10 or so states] who are joining me here today [insert proper introductions]. These men and women share my passion for returning power and control of education to where it belongs – to parents, teachers, school administrators, and educational businessmen. They will work with their respective administrations and legislatures to remove the state level shackles of taxation and regulation from local communities and from the individuals and families that rightfully should be the educational decision makers.
- At the local level – in our school districts, towns, townships, parishes, boroughs, cities, and counties – we will promote and encourage experimentation and new ideas. Also with me here today are [introduce a broad spectrum of civic leaders and businessmen]. This group is providing the initial funding for the “Let A Thousand Flowers Bloom” Prize which will annually award [insert significant cash prizes and meet the Prez perks, etc.] to individuals, groups, businesses and municipalities that have made significant contributions towards restoring freedom in education – removing local government involvement, launching successful education businesses, implementing effective teacher training programs, inventing new and better curricula.
Finally, to further encourage local participation, we’re offering a federal income tax deduction of [insert amount] per child for individuals and families residing in communities having completely eliminated state and local taxes and regulations on education.”
Yes this will require a president with both vision and and a spine. I’m not saying it will be a smooth process. We’ll probably see lawsuits galore from the NEA and other reactionary groups defending the statist status quo. And maybe it will take two administrations to eliminate federal spending and regulation. But the above would create competition both between states and between local communities. And above all, the narrative that this direction is right, is moral, would put us on the offensive, which is a necessary requirement for winning the war.