Letter: Education options a positive

Published 8:00 pm Friday, April 26, 2019

Dear Editor,

I wish Dick Yarbrough could spend a few days at our school and in Troup County. We are a community that works together to support education. Rather than protecting our turf, we co-operate and pursue options that are best for children. What a blessing!

If Dick did visit our community, he would find children from home-school, independent schools, and public schools attending the Symphony, enrolled in THINC Academy, and competing against each other in sports. Those who do not have children enrolled in public schools pay public school property taxes, sales tax, and education SPLOST tax. 

Individuals in our community with no children or relatives enrolled in Lafayette Christian School enthusiastically re-direct a portion of their Georgia Income Tax through the GOAL tax credit scholarship program to give parents in our community educational options for their children.  Why? We understand that one size does not fit all. We understand that our community is more attractive to newcomers when we offer strong, healthy educational options for their children.  We understand that if a child home schools or attends an independent school, the total school property tax revenue remains the same and there is actually more property tax per public school student.

Who would want to live in a community where there was only one restaurant chain in that community, which was run by the government and you were directed to eat only at one of those restaurants based upon your street address? Parents make choices about where their child plays, what they wear, what sports they play, and where they go to church. Yet most have no choice about where their child spends 7 hours of the day to be educated and have their worldview and philosophy of life imparted. Many parents want a choice in this critical area. Rightfully so. It is a parent’s most important responsibility to do this! Why should only the wealthy have educational options for their children? Why should only the wealthy have the choice to live in a county or neighborhood that has good schools?

No, Dick, we are not “vacuous ideologues” wanting to dismantle public education. There will always be people who want free public education and believe it is exactly what their child needs. However, public education does not meet the needs of all.  I invite you to visit our school and rejoice at what you would see. At graduation you would see students who transferred here and blossomed in a school that met their needs, whether that means they earned enough college credits here to enter college as a junior after graduation or they learned social skills and life skills in math and reading, enabling them to be a productive citizen.

Dick, you stated, “Doing battle with the Elmer Fudds of the world gives my life meaning.” Thankfully, many here in Troup County would rather find our meaning by supporting the education of children in the school setting – home, Christian, private, or public – where their needs will best be met. To educate literally means “to draw out”. We will draw out of children their God-given gifts and talents and inspire them to fulfill God’s plan for their lives.

John Cipolla


Lafayette Christian Schools