Thursday, March 11, 2010

What, indeed?

Patrick has a great post on the trade-offs we make when we take the government's money, or ask them to cushion life's blows.

Jumping off from his post, I must ask: Why would homeschoolers wish to push for government money?

I understand that we pay school taxes, but so do the elderly, the childless, the parents of private school children. Whether we think it is a good thing or not, schools are something that our fellow citizens consider worthy of supporting with tax dollars, so we pay the taxes and choose not to use the schools. That is a choice we make freely.

I also understand that we often spend money that other parents don't need to spend, and that most of us could use a little more money, but again, this spending is a result of our choice.

What many people tend to forget in their hopes for a tax credit, or rebate, or stipend is that government money always comes with strings. And yes, you could argue that you've paid taxes so you're just keeping your money. I agree. But the government doesn't look at it that way. Once it's been moved into their column on the balance sheet, they consider it theirs. There will be strings, rules, and requirements, which are some of the things that many of us hoped to avoid by homeschooling.


Angie said...

So true, Jane. Our school district sends us annual registered letters inviting us to planning meetings for the various government monies. I may have opinions as a taxpayer, but as a homeschool mom I have no use for money with strings attached.

Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake said...

If we accept that education is a public good, which I think is true enough, I think the ideal would be a universal voucher system, where the tax dollars allocated for each child could be spent by that child's parents in whatever way they preferred, whether public, private, or homeschool. Of course, as you point out, you'd be inviting government strings, at least with regard to where you'd be allowed to spend the money, but you'd still maintain the freedom simply not to spend it.

Jane said...

I love the idea of a universal voucher system. I think that's the ideal.