Politico recently conducted a poll and discovered, much to its delight, that the public is opposed to reopening K-12 schools in the fall by a margin of 53 to 38 percent. The public here includes single people, parents, single-parents, grandparents, assorted Never Trumpers and the "Resistance."
According to the demographic breakdown, approximately half of the respondents were too old or too young to have school-age children, but for the sake of argument we'll posit the same spread is reflected in the feelings of parents.
And that's why the teacher union's drive to keep government schools closed until a cure for the Flu Manchu is discovered on Wednesday, November 4th, is the gift of a lifetime for religious schools. Before the WuFlu arrived, 10 percent of the nation's school children attended private school. The 38 percent of the public who thinks schools should open in the fall has the potential to double or triple private school enrollment if the people who run religious schools will get moving and get marketing.
The tragedy of modern education is parents don't pay much attention to their local schools. If they did the New York Times anti-American propaganda effort, the 1619 Project, would not be part of the curriculum when government schools start YouTubing again this fall. Parents accept their kid's schools may not be considered good, but the school is good enough. And more important, government schools are free, since property tax and constant door-to-door fundraising covers the cost.
Not this year though. Parents are discovering their "good enough" schools are gone. Which is the golden opportunity. As former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson has noted, the educrat blob - teacher's unions, woke administrators & the college schools of education that produced them - "[Hate Trump] more than they care about kids. If parents believe the public schools can't be trusted to run, they will find new options."
That option is religious schools.
I'm referring specifically to religious schools not because I'm a Baptist, but because religious schools are the only educational institutions government bureaucrats can't order to close this fall. And believe me, they would if they could. Educrats know the long-term threat private schools pose to locked down government schools.
In Texas, for example, Attorney General Ken Paxton told local meddlers to back off and leave churches and religious schools alone. Paxton explained, "Local public health officials have begun to issue orders restricting or limiting in-person instruction" in private schools that are trying to open. In language even a bureaucrat can understand, Paxton forbade any interference in religious schools due to, "the robust constitutional and statutory protections unique to religious individuals and communities at all times."
That means for parents who don't want their children to waste another school year, religious schools are the only game in town.
Some religious educators know an opportunity when they see it. The Washington Examiner reports, "The Diocese of New Hampshire announced in early July that it will offer tuition breaks to people who transfer their children into their schools before Aug. 31. Other faith-based groups, as well as non-religious private schools, this month have made similar announcements."
Parents who attend the Church of Par 4 or the Sanctuary of the Weed-Wacker on Sunday should not let the religious part of the schools be a deterrent. Just as Protestants should not be reluctant to send their kids to a Catholic school.
National Review found, "In Baltimore, 75 percent of inner-city Catholic-school students are not Catholics. In Washington, D.C., the number is 66 percent; in Detroit, 60 percent; in Chicago, 30 percent, and in Philadelphia, 23 percent."
About a year and a half ago I wrote that Protestants need to join Catholics in education, just like they did in the battle for the unborn. Catholics have an existing nationwide infrastructure that Protestants can help reinforce. Both have a need to start fighting back against a culture that actively attacks their basic beliefs.
The Kung Flu Klosures provide a perfect opportunity to introduce thousands of families to an alternative to government school indoctrination. Pastors like Tony Spell, of the Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge, LA refused to knuckle under to unconstitutional closure orders. He's just the kind of leader to spearhead an effort to open religious schools in Louisiana.
What I fear is the same sheep-like shepherds who surrendered their church services to Caesar, will be equally passive in the face of a chance to open schools when the secular authorities want to keep everyone locked down with Gropey Joe Biden.
If you suffer from wimpy worship leader then your voice needs to be heard. Parents who don't want their children to waste another school year should pressure their churches to sponsor schools this fall.
Jesus said send him the little children. How about we start listening?
Copyright 2020 Michael Shannon, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.
Michael Shannon is a commentator and public relations consultant, and is the author of "A Conservative Christian's Guidebook for Living in Secular Times." He can be reached at [email protected]