Public and Private School Control

[17]Public and Private School Control

Laws, morals and learning, as well as the religious or philosophic views of people, even such things as marital forms, or sex relations, are determined in great part by economic necessity—the economic conditions in which people live, move and have their being.

Abnormal or very unjust conditions give rise to forms and philosophies of life, and religious systems that, while fit to those conditions, are unfit to other conditions.

With the rise of scientific discoveries and the classification of demonstrable facts, as against metaphysical aberrations, the philosophers and prophets of old have given way to scientists and educators, who hold that an incontrovertible fact outweighs a thousand dreams or visions.

The discoveries of science, applied to the processes of manufacture, have brought about vast economic changes, and rendered education something necessary to success.

While very few of the greatest authors of the world have had public school education, but were self-educated or students in private schools and colleges, the need of general education makes free or common schools more necessary now than of old, and either by the State or by private endowment, elementary schools, free of direction tuitional charge, will no doubt be maintained, for society composed of men and women of even a meager amount of learning is safer than a world of ignoramuses, and privately maintained free schools would be preferable to monopolistic State public schools, for reasons given subsequently.

The present public schools are State communistic institutions—owned by the State.

They differ from private or parochial schools in this: the latter are sustained by voluntary contributions while the former are sustained through compulsory taxation.

When the latter do not suit, the parent may take his pupil out and case his contributions; but not so with the State school—he has to support it willy-nilly.

Ownership involves control, and just as private or parochial schools can control their courses of study, so can the State control its educational program. The State's control lies in its legislature, and in all things not contrary to the federal constitution, and to its own constitution, a legislature can do as it wills. In Tennessee neither the Bible nor evolution can be taught in schools. Tennessee won its first case in regard to its anti-evolution law, and it will probably stand the test of all appeals, barring some technicality. It matters not whether the law is foolish nor wise, harmful nor beneficial—if it is legal, it stands. Volivia would pass a law against teaching astronomy, which teaches that the world is nearly round; old God-be-glorified would prohibit physiology, chemistry, physics and insectology, which deny that the sands of Egypt once changed to lice to plague the king. Legislatures have power to pass such laws, and taxpayers can't withhold school taxes.

A private school can exclude these studies, too, but it would soon be without a scholar or a dollar. Private concerns have to give satisfaction to survive, but State concerns do not—they don't depend on satisfied customers, but on clubs, cannon and poisonous gas. Things not subject to competition and voluntary support lack that concern which makes for efficiency, and are bound to be costly to those who must support them. The Public Schools cannot please all—as some object to teachings that others desire. Catholics want religious training along with secular education and have their parochial schools—but have to pay a double tax, which is unfair. Public or free schools inculcate authoritative dogma in lieu of religious doctrine. In every country—Soviet Russia, monarchial Belgium, republican Germany, plutocratic America, et al.—the child is taught that its form of government is freest and best. The advantages of education are checkmated by the disadvantages of systematic stultification in these State Socialistic or Communistic public schools. They are necessary under the lopsided [18] or quasi-individualism of the day, where labor, almost alone, is subject to competition, and therefore under duress to capital, which, through State-maintained monopolies—chiefly the money, land, tariff and patent monopolies—is immune from what should be the universal principle of competition. Thus labor, stripped to the bone in this unfair arrangement, has not the means to establish and maintain private schools. Children must attend State schools, and receive whatever education State politicians may choose to have imparted to them. Parents, other than the well-to-do, cannot choose educational institutions to their liking. Without monopolies, practically ALL parents could be well-to-do, and thus able to control their children's education.