Bruce Lesley, child advocate, explains in this article in Medium why a democratic society needs public schools. It’s an excellent article and it reviews the current attacks on public schools and even their right to exist. Did you know that one candidate for U.S. Senate has called for the abolition of public schools; he thinks every child should attend a religious school. Does every parent want their child enrolled in a religious school? Are there enough religious schools to admit 50 million children? A generation ago, a proposal this absurd would have turned him into a laughing-stock.
But these days, ridiculous ideas are in the mainstream, polluting civic discourse.

Lesley’s article returns the discussion of education to reason, a rare quality in these troubled times.

Lesley explains why individual parents should not control what happens in school:

For example, imagine an elementary school of 450 students where 15 parents oppose the teaching of evolution, 19 parents believe the earth is flat, 28 are Holocaust deniers, 22 oppose white children learning about slavery, 7 believe in racial segregation, 21 believe in the concept of a school without walls, 49 demand the use of corporal punishment, 18 want to ban Harry Potter books from the school library, 26 want to ban any books that mention the Trail of Tears, 62 believe that parents should be allowed to overrule a physician’s decision that a child with a concussion should refrain from participating in sports, 87 oppose keeping their kids out of school when they have the flu, 9 believe that a child with cancer might be contagious, 29 believe that kids who are vaccinated should be the ones who quarantine, 72 support “tracking” in all subject areas, 32 believe students should not be taught how to spell the word “isolation” and “quarantine”because they are too “scary of words,” 104 don’t like the school neighborhood boundaries, 38 don’t like the bus routes, 71 parents want a vegan-only lunchroom, 4 demand same-sex classrooms, 5 oppose textbooks and want their children only reading from the Bible, and it can go on and on. The vast majority of parents do not agree with any of these things, and yet, parental rights extremists would insist schools must accommodate them, even if they are completely false, undermine the purpose of education, threaten the safety of children, or promote discrimination.

How can a school operate if every parent can decide every aspect of the education of their child, as some are demanding? It cannot.

The parents who want control of every aspect of their child’s education are homeschoolers.