Education, especially of children, is inherently religious, no matter how it is done. Attempts to “sanitize” God out of the schooling of our children only results in an education that is equally religious in its philosophy of a Godless secularism. To teach children about the world, whether of the language spoken in it, the history of it, or the scientific and mathematical principles by which it operates, is to unavoidably teach them something about God. No matter what the teaching approach, they will either be taught that God is irrelevant to that world or they will be taught to reverence, respect and worship the God who created that world. Whether it is admitted or not, every school is as much a religious institution as are churches. Just as there should be no secular, government churches, there should be no secular, government schools.
However, it is in the government’s interest that all children be educated. I suggest that the answer is to eliminate public schools as they currently exist, and move instead to numerous charter schools, such that every religious persuasion that is large enough to populate a charter school would have one. Those of a religious persuasion not of sufficient numbers to have their own charter school could be given vouchers and allowed to homeschool (perhaps with online assistance) if they so choose. Just as Catholics currently have their own schools, evangelicals and Mormons and Muslims—and yes, even atheists/secularists could have their own schools. The current public schools could simply take on the new status of a “secularist” charter school, and every parent would need to choose which form of education they want for their children.
If this suggestion were adopted, there would be no more conflicts over allowing such things as the Ten Commandments in schools. Everyone would know what to expect, and no one would expect a secularist school to teach about God any more than they would expect an evangelical school to neglect teaching about God.
Ken Hamrick, 2013