The Blessing of Public Schools

Okay I know that people probably think that I talk to much about the negative views that many Christians have of the public schools, but I like to take those negative outlooks and try to let people see that not everything about Public Schooling is negative. Just the other day I saw someone put this negative ideal on Facebook using the words “failing public school system”. Is it true that some children come out of public schools unprepared? Sure it’s true. But the same can be said of Christian schools and Homeschooling as well. People will make statements like “Well 75% of people who are homeschooled go on to further their education, while only 49% from public schools go to college”. Well it’s a nice stat to state, but considering that there are about 49 million more people in the Public school than there are homeschooled those statistics really aren’t that impressive. Now if there were just as many people homeschooling as there were in public schools and the percentage came out like that, then I would say, “maybe homeschooling is a better option for us”. (NOTICE: I said a better option for us. I am in no way saying that the option of public school is for every Christian family.) The other statistic that many people like to point out is that when compared to other countries, the US doesn’t score as high on standardized testing, but I will answer this stat in one of my points of the blessings of public schools.

Blessing #1: EVERY Child is given a chance to be educated

Some children, if it were not for Public Schools, would never be educated at all. When the US is tested each year, many people criticize that our test scores compared to other countries are very poor, but the difference is, in most other countries children who are poor or have disabilities are not given a chance to even go to school. In the US, however, children with disabilities are given a chance to get an education, children who are poor are given a chance to receive an education, so of course scores will be lower in standardized testing. Perhaps if all we did was test the elite of our education system the statistics would measure closely to the rest of the smartest countries in the world, but in the United States every child is given a chance to receive an education.

Blessing #2: Low income children are given a chance to be healthy

I know some people would say that part of the problem with our country is the amount of people who receive food stamps and free housing. Do I believe that is part of the problem with our economy? Yes, I believe it is so. I think many of those people could do better for themselves but have gotten lazy and leach off the government and our taxes. While all this is true, should we punish the children for the sins of their families and say no to giving them the nutritional food they need? No we should not. Many children who eat their breakfast and lunch served by their schools will receive no other food from their homes. This does not negate the responsiblity of the parents, but for that child who is going hungery because of the neglect of his family the provision of food at his local school is a huge blessing.

Blessing #3: Public Schools provide jobs for many Christians

When my wife and I moved to Northeastern, GA in 2011 I had no ideal how I would provide for our family. We were stepping into a new ministry and while they were able to provide us with housing, we still had to make enough income to pay for the rest of our bills. I had put an application in at several businesses, but to no avail. Then I found out how to become a substitute teacher in our local public schools. I took the course, had my background test done, and was able to get on the Substitute list. The first year I was here I was able to sub an average of 3 days a week. This job provided me with enough income to make it through each month. If I had decided that the Public Schools were a “Godless place not fit for any Christian” than I would have failed to provide for my family like the Bible commands me to as a father and would have been “worse than an infidel” (I Timothy 5:8). So I count the public schools as a huge blessing to me and my family.

Blessing #4: Public Schools provide education in areas of knowledge that parents are lacking

Let’s face it, not all parents are experts at Math, English, Science, History…. and the list could go on and on. I can tell you that personally I like History, if I were to homeschool my children they probably would learn more about history than any other subject. I was pretty good at math up to a certain point. While I could help them with basic math, when they get to more advanced math, I am helpless. You probably can also tell that English is not a strong suite for me. I probably put punctuation in wrong places and repeat words a whole lot in my writing. Science, I can get that pretty good to a certain point but when it comes to chemistry and biology “forget it”.

While I know there is some “junk” that is taught in many of the subjects, I understand enough as a parent that I need to carefully explain and teach my child at home the truths from God’s Word relating to Creation, historic events, life styles, and godly living. I need to teach my children how to tell the difference between the facts from God’s Word and the fiction of the world. But in the end I also realize that the school my children attend is able to offer them some very good skills and knowledge. Do I have issues with some of the things my child may learn about in a public school setting? Yes, just as I take issue with some of the things that don’t line up with God’s Word in Christian Curriculum.

I am sure there are other blessings that could be added to this list. What blessings have you found from the public schools?

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6 thoughts on “The Blessing of Public Schools

  1. juliasarahelizabeth August 23, 2013 / 1:51 pm

    Let me hear the round of applause!

    I grew up going to public school because my brother first attended a Christian school in kindergarten. The teacher caused real damage to his educational process. I will not get into the details as that is his story, not mine. My parents were never exposed to Christian education previously, but my father’s opinion was, “If this is Christian education: over priced and ineffective”. My parents then decided to switch to public school education wher I must say we got a better education than my peers in youth group who went to another local Christian school. My father was a military man who was only an enlistee, not an officer. At the time, the military paid peanuts. It was not until a few years ago that I realized that we lived below the poverty level growing up. Christians also argue the spiritual angle of Christian school education. God put that responsibility on parents, not the schools. Besides, Florian was educated under Communism and still was able to accept Christ as Savior and grow spiritually.

    • sidmcbride August 23, 2013 / 3:53 pm

      Thank you so much for your input here. I am sorry that your family had a bad experience with the Christian Education system. No doubt there are many out there who are not achieving what they were meant to achieve which is sad considering Christ expects us as Christians to give our best. I grew up going to Christian schools and homeschooled my entire education, but can attest that much of the bad things that go on in the public schools as I have seen as a substitute teachers, happened in the very halls of the Christian schools and in the lives of the homeschoolers.
      I appreciate that you recognize that the Christian Education system is not responsible for turning out good strong Christian children, but that responsibility lies squarely on the shoulders of the parents. It is good to have a church and pastors who are there to help you along the way, but if we as parents aren’t doing what we are supposed to do, then we only have ourselves to blame when our children reject the Lord. No parent is perfect, but every parent should strive to be the best parent they can be.

  2. Kate August 23, 2013 / 6:46 pm

    I appreciate your thoughts, here. I definitely agree that we are blessed in the US to have the chance to be educated. Every kid. That is huge, in the global perspective. Overall, a kid will get a very good education in a public school if he applies himself. The catch is that Christian parents need to be aware and involved (like you) b/c so many other ‘hidden curriculum’ items are being taught also. But if parents are aware, they can be proactive with their kids about the truth.

    The good side of the Christian school is that we are all working toward goal with the same fundamental belief system. Just makes things that much easier.

    I’m sorry the other reader had such a bad experience with Christian schools. Some are as she described, and that’s sad. As Christians, we really should be excellent. I’m honored to teach at a Christian school that is excellent!

    Great perspective. Thanks for sharing!

    • sidmcbride August 23, 2013 / 9:03 pm

      Thank you for taking time to read my blog. You are very right about parents being involved with their children’s education, no matter what type of school they go to. I had one VERY good Christian School that we went to when I lived in IL. The thing that made that a great school was the care that the principle gave to each student and the involvement of the parents in the school. Grant it there were some students who’s parents never had a part with the school, but for the most part we had very faithful hard working parents who backed the principle completely. The other Christian school that I went to was full of only local church students, but while some of the parents were involved with the school a majority were not or would turn a blind eye to any problems that their children had. Many times if a child got in trouble it was blamed on the teacher, principle, or pastor. Look for an upcoming blog post on “what to do when children get in trouble at school”.

      God Bless!

  3. juliasarahelizabeth August 24, 2013 / 1:30 am

    I could actually wax eloquent about this topic, but this happen’s to be Aaron’s blog. Haha. I will say this, however, i can see God’s direct leading in my life even during my years at public school. I am thankful for my education because of it not in spite of it. Many, many wondetful things have come from both my education and my association with my public school friends. They may not be the ones you would want your children to hang out with, but some I have known since 1st grade and love like my own family. It is possible to send your child to public school, they accept Christ, they grow, and they become light that they may share Life.

  4. Eric Smith August 24, 2013 / 4:07 pm

    Thank you for this article and your kind words on my blog (Eric Smith). Blessings to you

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