(GrassrootsHQ/Potomac Tea Party) Public School Exit (PSE) offers consulting services regarding a highly developed set of homeschooling options for churches and parents. The initial consultation is free and there is no set fee for assistance, but donations are appreciated.
Plenty has been written about the problems in the public schools and the advantages of homeschooling. One good resource is Save Our Children, a special report on education by The New American (volume discounts available). The number of homeschooling families doubled last year and now stands at around 12 percent of all families with school-age children.
PSE’s Alex Newman argues trying to work with or getting conservatives elected to school boards is doomed to fail. He cites the experience of Dr. Diane Douglas who served as secretary of education in Arizona from 2015 to 2019. She started with big plans to reverse the pernicious influence of the Left in public schools and ended up despairing she could not appreciably move the needle. She could not remove Common Core, for example. Special interests saw to it her other initiatives were either ignored or reversed. Too many state and federal laws stand in the way of real change. Her bottom line: the public schools can’t be fixed. Dr. Douglas now supports homeschooling and serves on PSE’s advisory board.
There are also pastors on the board who have experience talking to congregations and mega-churches about getting kids out of public schools. Representatives from the Foundation for American Christian Education (FACE) and the Pacific Justice Institute (a legal foundation) also serve on the board.
PSE has a team of advisors ready to consult. They do not take a cookie-cutter approach. Rather, their consulting starts with what churches, synagogues, and groups of parents want to do and hope to accomplish.
One option is using church property, which stands vacant most of the time, for classes a couple of days a week. This structure avoids regulation as a private school. A one-room schoolhouse is another option, where older students help the younger ones. A lot of homeschooling takes place online now. PSE partners with Dr. Duke Pesta and Freedom Project Academy for a fully accredited, Judeo-Christian, Classical education for students in Kindergarten through High School. The Academy has well over a thousand students and enrollment is growing. It only requires one adult and a space with group Internet access to administer. This is a very low cost option. Consulting on other online partnering options is also available.
Even if parents and churches conclude homeschooling is not feasible for them at this time, PSE encourages them to start a scholarship fund to help low-income students escape the public schools. PSE can also point parents and churches toward foundation scholarships dedicated to the same end.
PSE partners with state and local organizations, e.g., the Illinois Family Institute. The Institute has become a PSE state chapter. The chapters endeavor to inform pastors interested in homeschooling how to start. PSE also partners in Georgia, Massachusetts, and Canada and stands ready to help elsewhere.
Another option is spearheaded by Lesley Russell, another PSE advisory board member. Her Independent Learning Academy offers a homeschool co-op program that is revenue-positive for churches. The program features professional teachers and à la carte courses in math, violin, and other subjects.
More resources – including lists of Christian and Principle Approach schools, alternative school options, and a “How-To” Manual for Parents & Churches may be found on PSE’s website. Principle Approach schools produce students with good SAT scores and a strong Biblical worldview.
To ask for a consultation, contact: [email protected]