Perry Praises Home Schoolers
By GLENN EVANS
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
BIG SANDY – Gov. Rick Perry opened a nationwide home school seminar here Tuesday by praising about 3,000 parents and children from across the country for seeking a more abundant life than public education delivers.
"Doing well in traditional subjects is important but, you know, scoring high on the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) cannot help a child overcome the moral challenges every young person faces on a daily basis," Perry told the group of Christians who are scheduled for seminars meshing faith and education ending Friday evening.
International Alert Academy is holding its second Advanced Training Institute conference in as many years at the former Ambassador University complex west of Big Sandy.
"Each of you is here not only because you want the best possible education for your children, but because you want the best possible life for your entire family – the ‘life more abundant' promised in John 10:10," Perry said.
The governor referred to a Biblical passage in which Christ contrasts himself with thieves who come to take and kill, whereas he came so his sheep could have abundant life.
Perry spoke perhaps 10 minutes to the appreciative audience, declining afterward to speak to the Longview News-Journal. His topic stayed on praise of the home schoolers' movement and its abundance in Texas.
"I'm proud to be the governor of the state that is home to more home schools than any other state in the nation – over 100,000 of you out there," he said. "You see, in Texas we understand that parents are the most equipped to know the educational needs of their children."
Parents also are in position to know where their children will get those educational needs met, he said, whether that's in public school, private school or home school.
"And for those who choose to teach at home, government regulation must always stop at your door," he said. "Home schools work. They work because of parental involvement. ... Home schools – it also works for another reason, and that's freedom. Home schools work because of that freedom parents have to teach their children according to their values."
Perry was accompanied on the brief visit by Republican state Reps. Dan Flynn of Van and Bryan Hughes of Mineola.
"It's a big deal what you're doing," Hughes said before delivering an opening prayer. "You're honoring the Lord in this."