Removing compulsory education will put parents back in charge and make the Legislature, state board and local school districts responsible to support and assist them. Parents will be authorized to ask for the help they need.
With Utah parents, there is a wide range of abilities to educate children. It ranges all the way from some who can do it completely at home, all the way to some who hold down two jobs or, for other reasons, spend little time with their children. Others, who may have time, would rather have professional teachers help them with it.
In assisting parents, the state and county will need to adjust to a great variety of needs. Some parents will ask for no help or half-day help. Others may ask for full-time help starting after Labor Day and ending before Memorial Day. Parents will differ on what ages they want to enroll their children in school. They will also differ about how much they want the federal government and the state to dictate what their children are to learn. They will differ about what is required for graduation. With compulsory education gone, and the responsibility back on their shoulders, parents will be able to ask for the help they need to educate their children.
When schools become voluntary, teachers will rise to the occasion and make school so interesting, challenging and enjoyable that nearly all children will choose to attend. Teachers will perform as professionals to work with parents to meet the needs of individual students. They will have smaller class loads.
Local district boards of education will give teachers time for pre-school visits with parents and students to form a partnership and make plans on how to meet the specific needs of each child.
Teachers will be respected and paid what they are worth.
The greatest benefit of voluntary attendance and voluntary learning will come to students. They will be encouraged to ask questions and look for answers. This process will result in learning that is much more deep and enduring than required learning. Students will surprise everyone with what they can accomplish when supported with their individual projects.
Students will not be standardized but will be helped to grow as individuals with a unique set of talents, abilities and interests. Parents and teachers will unite to help each child aspire to be a valuable contributor to society and chart his or her own ways to do it.
Parents and teachers will unite to help find and develop each child's genius, curiosity, creativity and character. This process will develop these qualities in parents and teachers as well.
Voluntary learning and student accomplishment will be so impressive that people will wonder why we didn't do it a long time ago. Let's get started.
Lynn Stoddard, Farmington, is a retired educator and the author of "Educating for Human Greatness." He can be reached at email@example.com.