11. Opposition to State Control of Education and the Family (4/91)

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Whereas parents are responsible for their children, including their educations; and

Whereas the state has no constitutional, statutory, or common law authority to demand, require, or invoke any specific educational program for a child; and

Whereas the state has no legal authority in education except that available under the federal constitution’s policing provision and only within the past 50 years has the citizenry used this authority to extend compulsory attendance laws through the high school years; and

Whereas schools derive their authority from parents and other citizens rather than from federal or state constitutions or authorities but this unfortunately is no longer commonly understood by many citizens; and

Whereas the state is assuming an increasingly large role in education by requiring standardized curriculum and standardized tests, extending the ages covered by compulsory school attendance laws, etc.; and

Whereas the state is tending to reduce parental freedoms by enlisting voluntary participation in publicly supported day care, preschool, four-year-old kindergarten, pre-school screening, parenting classes and home visits by publicly employed school district and/or social service workers to evaluate the development of preschool children and the adequacy of their parents’ nurturing and the education they are providing; and

Whereas some parents, caught by the economic and social pressures of our society, are perhaps unknowingly surrendering their rights and responsibilities and allowing the state to take over some of the functions of the family; and

Whereas an increasing number of parents are working hard to regain their freedoms and responsibilities for their families, particularly in the area of education, but are needing to overcome the recently promoted notion that professional specialists in large institutions are authorities in the area of education and child rearing practices and should have a larger say in these basic family activities; and

Whereas home schooling parents recognize that they have a special opportunity and responsibility to demonstrate and defend the right and ability of parents to assume the primary role in their children’s education;

Be it resolved by members of the Wisconsin Parents Association (WPA) that WPA and its members will inform the general public and policy makers of the risks associated with the state’s becoming involved in the basic responsibilities of parents and the family; and

Be it further resolved that WPA and its members will work through personal example and actions, their legislators, and other available means to counter encroachments of the state into such family responsibilities. 4/91

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