Education is right that belongs to states

June 27, 2014 at 1:27 a.m.

Wanda Ulrey

Wanda Ulrey

It was encouraging to read the following comment by Robert Jaklich, superintendent of the Victoria Independent School District, in "A Word From VISD" published in the Victoria Advocate on May 24: ". The power of any school district lies deep within its people. . We want our families to share in this partnership and encourage our families to contact their respective schools, teachers and administrators at any time for any reason."

There has always been a major emphasis on quality education in the United States of America. Even before the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were written, education of children was of vital importance to most parents. The Founding Fathers attended schools like Harvard and Yale. These schools were initially set up to train ministers. The Bible was the standard book of training. In the homes of younger students, the Bible was used to teach reading.

The first settlers knew the importance of citizens being able to read and think in order to keep government from atrocities that had occurred in Great Britain. Early education was remarkable using Biblical standards to educate citizens.

Many of the early founders of this nation were educated at Harvard, which had two mottoes: "for Christ and the Church" and "for the glory of Christ." Christ was the foundation of learning. Yale was another educational institution of that era and admonished, "Above all, have an eye to the great end of all your studies, which is to obtain the clearest conceptions of divine things and to lead you to a saving knowledge of God in His Son, Jesus Christ." (Information on the educational standards from the Founding Fathers was taken from "Four Centuries of American Education" by David Barton.)

Abraham Lincoln stated: "The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next."

America has the most successful government in the world, but we are losing the republic because of the current school system. In our nation today, mental exercises have deteriorated. Questions on the U. S. Constitution no longer apply in elementary education. Self-governance has all but been eliminated in many of our high schools.

The 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution states: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively or to the people." Since education is not mentioned in the Constitution, it is one of those powers reserved to the states. Of course, the United States Supreme Court can declare that something not mentioned in the Constitution is so closely related to something that is mentioned that the unmentioned power is a fundamental interest, which rises to constitutional protection.

Even though each state had the constitutional right to educate students because of biblical standards being removed by the court system, the push began toward a more socialistic educational system.

Thus, there is currently a push toward a curriculum called the Common Core State Standards Initiative, which is a state-led effort - highly supported by the federal government - that establishes a single set of educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts and mathematics.

Texas has rejected Common Core. I stand by this decision and hope our legislators will continue to do the same. We have an opportunity to set a standard for the rest of the states. Standards of education should stay locally, even to one day return to biblical standards.

Based on the standards of the Constitution and the Founding Fathers of this nation, public education should be a promoter of America's original culture and Christian values while respecting other cultures. Education is the right and responsibility of the parents, the taxpayers and the educators who work in our schools. Mr. Jaklich's comment mentioned at the beginning is a step in the right direction.

It is not just our children who need education; it is a citizenry who have handed over their authority and Constitutional rights to someone else and believed a lie. The United States of America is a republic, if we can keep it.

Wanda Ulrey has a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Houston-Victoria. She is currently enrolled with Texas Center for Self Governance, which exists to teach citizens how to exercise their civic authority, leverage self-governance, instruct delegated authority and inform citizen discretion.



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