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Originally published in The Education Liberator, Vol. 3, No. 2, February/March 1997
Our goal is to end government involvement in elementary and secondary education in the United States. Our job is to build a constituency for Separation. That constituency will act - through many independent organizations - to see Separation accomplished.
Description of The Alliance
Concerned parents and educators founded The Separation of School & State Alliance in 1994 as a grassroots, nonprofit educational organization. We operate as a project of the Advocates for Self-Government and are tax-exempt under IRS Section 501(c)(3). As of February 1997, we have 1,101 financial contributors and 2,078 signers of our concise statement of the schooling problem and its solution, the "Proclamation for the Separation of School and State." (See attached.) We have a full-time staff of three and two part-time employees.
Diversity and "common ground"
Members and supporters of the "Separation Alliance" have a wide variety of political, economic, theological, social, pedagogical, and ethnic characteristics. We share common ground in enough areas to allow us to work together:
What we mean by "Separation"
By "Separation," we mean the elimination of local, state, national, and international governments from all aspects of education, including financing, determining curriculum, specifying outcomes, compelling attendance, credentialling teachers, and the accrediting and operating of schools.
How far have we come?
Consider this paraphrase of philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer "Truth typically passes through three phases: First, it is considered absurd and ignored or ridiculed. Next, it is considered dangerous to the status quo and viciously attacked. Lastly, it is considered wholesome, indeed, self-evident." The Separation idea is now primarily in phase one.
Criteria for success
The ultimate evidence of success will be the removal of all children from tax-funded schools and the refusal of families to accept government subsidies for their children's education. The success of this movement hinges upon American families re-assuming responsibility for the education of their children.
When it's done - close up shop
When Separation is accomplished, the Separation Alliance will have a final celebration and then cease operations in an orderly fashion.
Our short-term goal is to create effective state coordinators in all 50 states, and hundreds of local chapters. We expect that eighty percent of the work of Separation will be done by local volunteers, and 20 percent by paid headquarters and regional staff. When we have 100 chapters, we will be ready to launch a major advertising and growth push that will begin the move from Schopenhauer's phase one (absurd) to phase 2 (bold). Here is a partial list of our current activities:
Alliance for the Separation of School & State. Permission is granted to freely distribute this article as long as this copyright notice is included in its entirety.
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