On Friday, January 26, 2018, Founders Classical Academy of Leander welcomed Texas state representative Tony Dale and friends of the school to campus for National School Choice Week. Here are Dr. O’Toole’s remarks from the event.
At Founders Classical Academy, we think that school choice is the way forward because implicit in the idea of a charter school is an essential truth about parents and children. As a charter school, we believe that it is the parents’ right, authority, and responsibility to direct the education of their children.
As human beings, we make choices, and the sum of our choices becomes the essence of our life. It is human to choose, and it is natural for parents, who care more deeply for their children than anyone else, and who know their children better than anyone else, to make choices for the welfare of their children.
Perhaps the most important choice a parent makes for a child is the choice of school. By sending your child to school, you are sending them to a group of people, adults and children, who will become their community. You are sending them to a place that, for good or ill, will help form their moral imagination. You are sending them to a place that, for good or ill, will fill their minds with ideas about themselves, their futures, their families, and their country.
Perhaps the most important choice a parent makes for a child is the choice of school. By sending your child to school, you are sending them to a place that, for good or ill, will help form their moral imagination.
Sometimes we teachers will talk about the students here as “ours.” When we say this, as we do all the time, we mean that we love them and care for them. But we must never forget that these students are yours, nor ours. Whenever a school lose sight of that, as schools do all the time, we come close to an understanding of government power that contradicts the principles upon which our country is founded. At its heart, the American regime is a regime of limited government under the Constitution, and one which respects the choices of parents and families. Our Constitution sets up a limited government, and one important limit on the growth of power is the household or family. Any argument that claims that a student belongs to a school oversteps that limit and paves the way for bureaucrats, not parents, to make choices about the lives of their children.
And so, when a student comes to our school, that’s not Founders Classical Academy taking a student from the public school down the street. It’s involved parents exercising their right and their duty to choose an education that it best for their child. Parents–not schools, and not governments–direct their children’s educations. That is something to celebrate, and something to encourage. We here at Founders look forward to a time when parents’ right to choose schools that are right for their families is once again regarded as a matter of common sense.
Are you new to the debate surrounding school choice? Here’s a brief video to explain how more school options lead to better educational results.