From my 2000 U.S. Senate Campaign

What is education?

by John McAlister
Candidate for US Senate
Columbus, OH

Is education buildings, desks, computers, breakfasts and lunches being served in cafeterias, toilet paper in the stalls? Is it "State Department of Education?" Is it administrators, teachers, counselors, "education specialists" and school boards? Is it a curriculum? Is it methods, structure, teacher pupil ratio? Is it textbooks? Is it complying with the Individuals with Disabilities Act and Ohio Revised Code Chapter 3323, sec 3314.07(B)(1)(b) & (1)?

Or is education children who are learning? The State of Ohio Department of Education says that if you donít have all of the above, you canít have education. Of course they didnít bother to ask the parents of the children -- children who really are learning and developing as human beginnings at Riser Military Academy Community School in Columbus.

The State Department of Education wants to shut the school down despite the fact that the parents love the school, love sending their children there and gave the principal and founder of the school a standing ovation at a parent meeting January 7, 2000.

I was there as a Candidate for US Senate to see for myself what the parentsthought of the school and whether or not they felt their children were learning at Riser. The response I got from the parents was one of overwhelming support for the school, the teachers and each other for creating a school of their own that was really helping their kids learn.

All of these parents had previously had their children in government run Columbus schools. They were incensed that the same government who was not educating their children in their predominately "inner city" schools was now trying to shut down their own charter school which was finally giving their children an education!

The federal government through the Department of Education currently spends over billions of dollars on "education." Where does some of that money go? Check this out:

Total: $14.60 billion! (rounded)

(Source Cato Institute Handbook for Congress )

This is money that has been taken out of the hands of taxpayers and given over to politicians and educational bureaucrats because they supposedly know what "education" is. These bureaucrats think they know how to spend this money for "education" better than the likes of parents who send their kids to Riser Military Academy in Columbus, OH.

Well as a candidate for the U.S. Senate I disagree. I donít think schools should be politicized, bureaucratized or unionized. I think parents know whatís best for their children. I donít think politicians and bureaucrats running government schools will ever know more about whatís best for a parentís child better than the parent.

I saw that demonstrated at Riser Military Academy and if itís true at Riser in Columbus, itís true all over Ohio. If the voters of Ohio elect me to the U.S. Senate, I will represent their views that they want the money put back in their pockets to use to educate their children the way they as parents see fit -- not politicians and bureaucrats.

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