Paul Jacob

“We’re not ready for this type of incursion into our school system,” complained Delegate Bob Tata (R-Virginia Beach), the House Education Committee chairman, while explaining that the state’s school boards and superintendents oppose HB 947. The state’s teachers’ unions also oppose the bill, as does the Virginia Parent Teacher Association.

Yet, the invasion of their hallowed public-private playground by the private public may be imminent. The barbarians are already at the gate of the evenly-split state Senate, HB 947 having passed the House of Delegates this past week by a vote of 59-39.

Expect intensive lobbying by the politically powerful education establishment. In an email, the Virginia PTA urged its cadre to: “Let [legislators] know that public school is your choice and team sports are a privilege you earned and expect them to protect.”

Notice how fast public education went from a right for every child to a privilege for some, who plead with politicians to protect them from having to associate with “the other.” To do the unimaginable: give others an equal chance to “try out.”

Where have we heard this sort of debate before?

And if integrated sports teams are unthinkable, the PTA email poses a harrowing question, “What’s next? Drama, debate, electives?”

If we’re not careful, truly public education could break out. With free and diverse integration.

The PTA’s orthographically deviant slogan is “every child. one voice.”

Why not allow every one of those children his or her own voice? And an equal chance to win a spot on the team.

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.