What Happens Without Government Schools?

In a previous post I called for parents (specifically Christian parents) to remove their children from the government school system. I realize that this may be a radical concept for many. Anytime we are confronted with something that is different than what we are used to, we can be tempted to write it off as over-the-top and absurd. One thought that many people might have is this: What would we do without the government school system? I hope to briefly address that question, while pointing you to a resource that will help you think about this in a more in-depth manner.

Civil Government’s Role

First of all, the foundation of this is God’s Word. When we are talking about the government school system, we are talking about the civil government doing something which it has no role doing. Any statistics, emotional appeals, or anecdotal accounts must be subjected to God’s Word. The Bible makes it clear that the role of the civil government is to punish evildoers—”for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well” (1 Peter 2:10)—not education. As Dr. Joel McDurmon says, “In no place in Scripture is it even intimated that civil government should have any hand in this [education] process.”

Did We Always Have Government Schools?

The fact that many people find it so difficult to envision a society in which the civil government is not in charge of education is proof positive that the government school system has failed to teach the true history of this land and the principles of freedom found in the Bible. Once again, I cite McDurmon:

There is no reason why civil government should have education as one of its functions…or even have regulatory oversight over education. In a free society the primary focus of leadership in education would always and only be the family and secondarily the church—and anyone whom the family freely decides to hire. And this is the ideal of freedom that is found both in the Bible and in [the] Christian founding of this land—and through the founding years of American history up until…the 1830’s.

He goes on to note, “In fact, as late as 1860, throughout all the states, there were only about 300 public schools…compared to over 6,000 private institutions—and that’s not including the vast majority, by the way, who were homeschooled.”

Clearly, the idea that we need the government school system is erroneous at best. Not only does God’s Word give no basis for it, but our nation was not founded with it. I urge you to watch Dr. Joel McDurmon’s video on this topic. He explains how it used to be in America and how, contrary to modern opinion, the education was high quality.

What happens without government schools? Ultimately, if we seek to honor God’s Word and limit the civil government to its proper place, the answer is blessing. We cannot continually expect God to bless a system that is doing what He never intended it to do. Are there many more questions that need to be addressed? Yes. Will it take a long time to get rid of the government school system? Most likely. But, for starters, let’s seek to understand our nation’s history and what God’s Word says about this. If you are truly interested in learning more, stay tuned, send me your thoughts, and watch Joel McDurmon’s video.


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