Conservatives refer to public education as The Blob – and for good reason.
Like the menacing mass of black goo in the film of the same name, it consumes everything and produces nothing, while moving at a snail’s pace.
In the current environment, where everything is shaped by the Red Chinese virus, The Blob is waging a desperate fight against an old enemy – school choice.
Public education has been dominated by teacher unions for decades, which is a major reason for the lack of progress and the rising costs.
Currently, the unions are fighting to keep schools closed and to deny parents other options.
This is not what is best for students but that consideration always has been low on the priority list of teacher union bosses.
As someone on Facebook said recently “Unions look at children as revenue, not responsibilities.”
At the same time, teacher unions are becoming less relevant to parents.
According to a Rasmussen poll, only 39 percent of Americans think it is a good idea that most teachers belong to public unions. That number is down from 45 percent a year ago.
President Donald Trump is asking Congress to pass the School Choice Now Act, which includes his groundbreaking Education Freedom Scholarships proposal. It would give students and families the resources and power to select the right education method for them.
This legislation would not create a new federal program. No state would be forced to participate, and no family would be forced to accept a scholarship.
Parents have many options. Private schools, with or without vouchers, and homeschooling are two. Yet both entail a cost over and above the property taxes they pay to fund government schools.
Homeschooling was growing in popularity even before the pandemic.
John Arwood, a Jacksonville resident who runs a small business, has been homeschooling his children, 4 and 8 with his wife, who works at home. They have an older child, 22, who attended public school.
For people who might scoff, Arwood points out that Elon Musk and Tim Tebow were homeschooled. Neither has failed at life.
The Arwoods used a program called Charlotte Mason but others are available online, Arwood said.
There is a large network of people who homeschool their children. Arwood said he attended a convention in Orlando that was massive.
Arwood says the Duval County public schools should be supporting parents who teach their kids at home using money they are not spending while they are closed.
“If you get money and aren’t spending it, and parents have to do the work, they should give the money to them,” he said.