Most school choice advocates believe the poor would be the first to head for the exit should vouchers be approved for the parents of government school children. Numerous surveys have shown that lack of money is the only reason most poor children remain trapped in government schools and that if money were no longer a concern, poor parents would place their children in private schools. Liberal Democrats, who claim to be advocates for the poor, have failed them on this important issue because they like getting contributions from the National Education Association. While such contributions help keep them in office, poor children continue to starve intellectually and morally.
By passing the resolution, the SBC could inject new energy into this slowly growing trend toward non-government education and convert it into a powerful example with momentum. If large numbers of Southern Baptist and other Christian parents begin exiting government schools, the education monopoly will be forced to consider returning to real education standards instead of embracing every new education and social "fad." Like a business that is required to compete, government schools will either reclaim a once proud heritage, or go out of business; either way, the children will benefit, and it is their welfare, not that of the education establishment and their lobbyists, that ought to be of primary concern.
Conservatives have worried more about changing decadent culture than in changing themselves and their own children. Millions of schoolchildren reared with morals, values, ethics and faith that are endangered in the government schools would do more to enrich and advance culture than all of the political movements combined.
So, Southern Baptists, show the way and perhaps many will follow. Stop waiting for the world's permission to fully exercise your faith and beliefs (which will never come) and start training up your children in the ways your God wants them to go. That can't be done in government schools, but it can in yours or in your homes. It's time to give the word "exodus" a new meaning.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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