School Options Truly Liberate Parents

Published June 9, 2011

Your editorial “Emancipation proclamation” (May 31) showed justifiable outrage over the 4-3 Georgia Supreme Court decision that invalidated a state-level alternative route for parents who had been frustrated by recalcitrant local school boards in their quest of independently managed charter schools for their children.

You are correct that it is a beautiful thing when charter schools can operate with considerable autonomy and offer families educational approaches and curricula not found in the standardized system. And, yes, it is a shame that the Supreme Court majority is effectively saying that parents now must go on bended knee in search of such within-the-system choice.

Yet, given that charter schools are, after all, public schools, it is wise to bear in mind that they will be subject on occasion to shifting political and ideological whims. To be truly liberated, parents need to be secure in their freedom to school their children at home, or to use vouchers to choose private schools free of governmental interference.

Robert Holland


(The writer is senior fellow for education policy at the Heartland Institute, a public policy think tank.)