Why Would Anyone Think the Constitution Allows Parents to Choose a School for Their Children?

When the government dictates to parents the school for their children, that’s totally okay with our wise judges.

It is a horrible story but I had to laugh at the headline at the Wall Street Journal blog: “No Guarantee of Public School Choice in Constitution, Appeals Court Rules.”

How funny! These judges can find homosexual marriage in the Constitution. They can find authorization for a Federal Department of Education in the Constitutions! But they can’t find anything that allows parents to get their children a better education in the public school system.

[See also, “School Fight! The Way of Peace is to Let Go.”]

Public school parents don’t have a fundamental right to decide where to send their children to school, a federal appeals court has ruled.

The Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday rejected claims by a group of Arkansas parents who sued over their right to transfer their kids out of their home school district in Arkansas to a neighboring one where they thought they could be better educated.

School officials rejected the transfer applications because they said the children’s assigned district, which is predominantly African-American, is still subject to a court desegregation order from more than 40 years ago.

The parents, who are white, sued for violations of due process and equal protection, claiming they had a constitutional right to move their kids.

A lower court last year dismissed their complaint. And on Monday, an Eighth Circuit panel in St. Louis upheld that ruling, saying the Constitution doesn’t guarantee so-called public-school choice.

“We agree with the district court that [no] relevant precedent support[s] the proposition that ‘a parent’s ability to choose where his or her child is educated within the public school system is a fundamental right or liberty,” stated the opinion, authored by Judge Lavenski R. Smith. “Accordingly, the appellants have failed to prove that they have a protected liberty interest.”

Courts have said parents may not be denied the right to choose private schooling for their children. The Eighth Circuit, though, said the rulings in those cases couldn’t be applied to parents seeking to move their kids within a public education system.

It is funny how a story can mention that the less desirable school is predominantly African American and that makes the white parents suspicious for being guilty of racist motives. But everyone knows that African Americans are commonly put is substandard schools and yet no one criticizes the system of being racist. Teacher unions that make it impossible to improve education are never racist, but parents who want their children in the better situation are always racist if they are white.

Yes, this sounds so much like the government system our Founding Fathers envisioned. I am so glad we have such wise judges who give us such clear insight.

Yes. That was sarcasm.