Stay in School

Why dropping out of public education is a bad choice for Christians.
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In February, Free Congress Foundation founder Paul Weyrich made headlines with his letter arguing that Christians should separate themselves from today's "hostile" culture. "I no longer believe that there is a moral majority," he said in what has become one of the most quoted lines in years. "I believe that we probably have lost the culture war."

That same month, a remarkably similar letter was sent out by Bob Simonds, founder and president of Citizens for Excellence in Education. Since founding the organization in 1983, Simonds attempted to radically change public education from the inside, mainly by encouraging conservative Christians to run for school boards. Now, he says, that strategy has failed. "The frightened and woeful cries of godly parents have been, and still are, ignored," he wrote. "Therefore, after 15 years of sincere efforts … the Lord has counseled me, and an impressive array of those associated in ministry have confirmed God's leading, that Christians must exit the public schools as soon as it is feasible and possible" (emphasis his).

So Simonds founded Rescue 2010, a plan to empty public education of Christians in 12 years. In doing so, he joined a small but vocal group of organizations bugling the retreat, including Exodus 2000, Exodus Project, and the Separation of School and State Alliance. The groups have the backing of several prominent evangelical leaders and even a congressman, Colorado's Tom Tancredo (who serves on the House Education Committee), in calling for an end not just for Christians in public schools, but for public schools in general.

These organizations will never convince the majority of Christians to abandon public education, but they will convince a few that, in the words of Exodus ...

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