Friday, May 30, 2008

Bob Barr on homeschooling

In a press release, Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr defends California homeschoolers:
Education is a state and local issue, notes Barr, but “even more so it is a parental responsibility.” For good reason, he explains,“more than 80 years ago the Supreme Court upheld the right of parents to determine their children’s schooling, calling it an essential liberty under the 14th Amendment.”
He urged the California courts to look to that case, Pierce v. Society of Sisters, in which the Court stated that “the child is not the mere creature of the state.” If the courts fail in their duty to protect the parents’ constitutional right to educate their children, he adds, then the California legislature and governor have a responsibility to act.
Homeschooling is one area in which libertarians and social conservatives see eye-to-eye. Government schools are an abject failure, and most Christian homeschooling parents have long since grown weary of the "let's take back our schools" rhetoric of some Religious Right leaders.

There was a time, about 25 or 30 years ago, when homeschooling was considered extremely radical. Now, more than 1 million American children are learning at home, and homeschooling a demonstrably success, with Harvard grads and bestselling authors among the alumni of the kitchen-table classroom. My own 18-year-old daughter, who was homeschooled from age 8 to 14, is now a college sophomore studying in a full-immersion Spanish-language program in Argentina. (Come to think of it, Saturday is her 19th birthday. Happy birthday, Kennedy!)

Nothing so undermines the argument for omniscient government as the failure of public education and the success of homeschoolers. One of Barr's rivals for the LP nomination, Steven Kubby, was strongly impressed by the speech that 16-year-old Dakota Root gave at Denver for her father, Wayne Allyn Root, who is now Barr's running mate.


  1. Don't leave the liberal homeschoolers out! :D

    What it takes to homeschool is not a certain political or religious philosophy but an understanding that a system meant to serve everyone really serves no one and confidence in your own abilities as a parent...Something in short supply these days.

  2. Homeschooling is a very practical option. Unfortunately, there is no legal possibility for Romanian parents to homeschool their children. :(