Why Churches Should Be Starting More Schools by Shane Raynor
"Nowadays we hear a lot about church planting. New churches are exciting, and they’re certainly needed. The more the merrier! But we also need more congregations that are interested in planting and subsidizing schools, especially in areas where the public schools are failing. It’s not fair to lower income kids to make them wait for their schools to be fixed, and we can’t afford to wait for politicians to see the light on school choice. Christians can act now and take the lead on fixing the education problems in this country. And we can do it by starting new schools."
which was a response to Adam Hamilton's Put God Back in Public Schools?
"In America our public schools are intended to be religiously neutral. Our teachers and schools are neither to endorse nor to inhibit religion. I believe this is a very good thing. When my kids were growing up I wanted their teachers to teach them science, reading, math, and history. I also wanted them to care about my kids. But I did not want my children’s public school teachers teaching them religion. That was my job as a parent, and the job of our church, Sunday school, and youth group."
I think each article brings up some great points. As someone who grew up going to public school but sends her children to Christian school, it's a topic I like to think about. I like that my son goes to school and hears about Jesus there. Frankly, I find that I have a difficult time explaining things to children and I am glad there are people who are gifted to teach children.
I do know that one concern I have is having my children live in a Christian bubble. But, I also like that idea of protection when they are young, and I like that faith is a part of all aspects of life, not just something for a couple of hours on Sunday. To separate the sacred from the secular is, to me, to say that the Kingdom of God has a finite reach.
If we did create more Christian schools, and vouchers were used to attend, as the author of the first article suggests, how would admission be determined? For example, there was an incident in Albuquerque, NM where a three year old was denied admission because the parents were gay. While schools can each develop their own policies, how would they ensure that they are willing to let anyone use vouchers?
And, how can we be sure that students are allowed to, as Adam Hamilton writes, "bring their faith into the schools. They are free to pray any time, provided they are not disruptive. They are free to talk about their faith, provided they are not belligerent or hurtful to other students. " This is not always the case, as a friend-of-a-friend recently pointed out to me (story from 2005; story from 2010).
What are your thoughts on Christian Education? Do you send your kids to private Christian schools or public schools? What is your reason for doing so? If you are a teacher, in what type of school do you teach and why?