The Education Liberator

Vol. 2, No. 6 July 1996

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Practical, Principled Steps to Separation

By Pam Probst

Originally published in The Education Liberator, Vol. 2, No. 6, July 1996

Advocates of tax-funded school vouchers often criticize the pure Separation position as utopian, lacking real-world application. Knowing that we won't get to Separation in one stride, what principled intermediate steps can we propose as alternatives to vouchers?


In The Education Liberator, April, 1996, Pam Probst offered the following ideas. These all pass the "Incremental Step Filter" of being not only useful, put principled as well. None of them includes any immoral component, none hides the eventual goal of complete Separation, and none pretends to solve the problem. Several of them have the additional advantage that they can be undertaken today on an individual basis as well as through group effort. (Other ideas are most definitely welcomed!)


·         Encourage and facilitate removing children from tax-funded schools.

·         Set up a private scholarship foundation.

·         Remove your own children from tax-funded schools.

·         Recruit a clergy person to tell the flock of the danger of tax-funded schools, and encourage them to remove their children.

·         Set up a school in your neighborhood, church, temple, or masjid.

·         Work in a political field (lobbying, initiatives, etc.) to repeal compulsory attendance legislation.

·         Reduce tax-financing of government-run schools.

·         Peform political action to require that any increase in funding of government-run schools must come from tuition or fees assessed to parents of children in the schools.

·         Do political action that requires tax-funded schools to reduce by x% each year their use of tax funds.

·         Download decision making from the feds to the states, from the states to districts, from districts to schools, and finally from schools to parents.

·         As a good start, end all federal financing and involvement in education.

·         End state textbook selection.

·         End state credentialing of teachers.

·         End state "frameworks" and other impositions of curriculum.

·         End state high school graduation requirements.

·         End prohibitions of schools operating solely in a foreign language.

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