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Common Themes and Disparate Concerns

Common Themes and Disparate Concerns

(p.108) Chapter Four Common Themes and Disparate Concerns
James G. DwyerShawn F. Peters
University of Chicago Press

Parents choose homeschooling for a great variety of reasons, but a significant feature of homeschooling in the United States today is that nearly all parents who do it judge it to be superior to the schooling that the state offers to all children free of tuition, and even superior to any available private school options. At this point in the book, we switch gears to the normative, philosophical analysis of homeschooling and of the laws now governing it, with the historical background in mind. We now ask what stance the state ought to take toward some parents’ desire to keep children at home rather than sending them out to school. Is the current legal regime morally appropriate? Are parents morally entitled to this power over their children’s intellectual formation, even if not constitutionally entitled to it? Should the state go even further and financially support any parent’s choice to homeschool? Or, conversely, do children have a right to attend a regular school, or at least to have the state exercise greater control over home-based instruction? The following chapters will attempt to answer these questions.

Keywords:   moral entitlement, normative views, rights

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