The proposed new rules to restrict the growth of charter schools by limiting their access to federal funding represent the latest blow to the Parental Rights movement across the country. TheParental Rights movement is a loose conglomeration of angry parents, anti-vaxxers, libertarians, conservatives, and Christians who will no longer tolerate the lack of educational integrity, medical freedom, and socialist indoctrination in the public schools. These diverse groups of everyday Americans, who may otherwise have nothing in common, found a rallying point around having a say in what their children learn and experience on campus. The issues range from limiting students' exposure to toxic sexual information and gender confusion to prohibiting the vaccination of a minor without parental consent. As one reporter said, "it's clear that many Americans have had enough and are becoming a potent political counterweight in an environment once dominated by teachers' unions." Unfortunately, the teacher unions are pushing for the most radical ideologies, including that our country is inherently racist and redefining gender norms.
Since the movement began, 19 state legislators have introduced some form of curriculum oversight that calls for parental access to the information taught in public schools. This may be one of the most significant grassroots protest movements of our generation. The far-left wants to manipulate and control what our kids grow up believing and thinking, but concerned citizens on both sides of the political aisle are finally fighting back.
One alternative supported by the movement is to increase the funding and creation of charter schools. Charter schools are public schools funded by the government but that allows for greater control by parents and nonprofit organizations. Therefore it is no surprise that the federal government is quick to undermine its success. Department of Education officials know charter schools would be where the teacher unions and local government cannot impose things like oversexualized health education and Marxist agendas. The proposed restrictions will narrow the pool of candidates who receive the funding to ones that are ideologically aligned with their divisive agenda. I spent 20+ years as a federal contractor and can say from experience that federal grantors make it quite clear how they want a program to end before it even begins. In the grant application, the grantee must outline how the project will align with the government's mission and goals, which always reflects the current administration's policy. Federal grants in the education sector are no different. Requiring the grantee to demonstrate "plans to establish and maintain racially and socio-economically diverse student and staff populations" makes it clear that the issue of "ensuring diversity" will be paramount to a successful award. This requirement would be especially disadvantageous to the charter schools that serve predominantly minority communities that are not necessarily diverse but whose students deserve a better quality of education. The Hispanic and black lower-income areas best served by charter schools would lose the most with these restrictions. Ironically, these are the precise communities the far Left claims it defends. In reality, they do not want to improve their opportunities; they merely seek to control them.
Another ruse for protecting the status quo in the public school system is asking charter school applicants to show local need, based on the availability of existing public school options. Attendance at public schools is at an all-time low, so it would be nearly impossible to meet this criterion. Simply put, the Feds do not want charter schools outside of their influence, which can deviate from their agenda to indoctrinate our youth.
This latest roadblock aimed at charter schools is another indication that we cannot surrender our public school system. The Parental Rights movement's slogan, "we will pull them," threatens school boards that if they do not concede to parental involvement, parents will remove their kids from the schools. It pressures school districts by threatening to decrease their government funding due to reduced enrollment. Another alternative is homeschooling, although it is not a viable option for many families. Ultimately, the solution is to get more involved in the election of our school board members and elections in general. Again, it doesn't matter what sector of government we look at –whoever makes the rules has a greater impact on the outcome. If we do not like being referred to as domestic terrorists or having our kids be indoctrinated with communist ideals in the classroom, we have to get engaged.
As Christians, we should never ignore our responsibility to protect and maintain our children's values. We accomplish this by demonstrating Christ-like qualities in our own lives and influencing a collective governing body, such as a school board or a City Council. In my area, two talented and faithful community members have stepped forward to run for school board positions coming up in the fall. They are both hard-working fathers who will sacrifice their personal and professional time to defend our children. As a community, it is our job to raise funds for their campaign, educate our neighbors about their platform, and place yard signs across the district. If they win, we will have four conservative Christians on the board, which is a majority. It would significantly impact all aspects of our public school regulations and will be a tremendous first step to taking back our schools. Friends, this fight is a struggle for the soul of our nation and is a fight we cannot afford to lose.
Hedieh Mirahmadi was a devout Muslim for two decades working in the field of national security before she experienced the redemptive power of Jesus Christ and has a new passion for sharing the Gospel. She dedicates herself full-time to Resurrect Ministry, an online resource that harnesses the power of the Internet to make salvation through Christ available to people of all nations, and her daily podcast LivingFearlessDevotional.com.