To all Tea Party Folks,
Education is the FIRST OBJECT of republican government... wherein every citizen is given the opportunity to acquire the knowledge of our laws and the principles that underscore them... In the public's schools, citizens should be given opportunities and examples that allow them to learn to respect and love the laws based upon and squared by our sacred Constitution...
In Pennsylvania, the public's schools are governed by laws, school laws as set forth in the Pennsylvania School Code of 1949.
CHARGE: Among the laws of this Commonwealth, NONE are more ignored, disregarded, and discarded than the laws regarding the teaching of our Nation's and Commonwealth's "republican form of government."
Here are the operative LAWS (Penn. School Code of 1949, Title 24-Education, Chapter 1, Section 1-1511 and Chapter 1, Section 16-1605)
As you read these, please note WHERE in the School Code these laws are found. The first is found in the section called "Prescribed Courses and Instruction" and it is the VERY FIRST law noted. The second is found in the section titled "High Schools" and it is also the VERY FIRST law noted.
In sum, the authors of the Pennsylvania School Code put the teaching of our founding principles at the HEAD of ALL course requirements... THE HEAD! Just as our founding fathers declared, education is the FIRST OBJECT of our republic government AND education in the founding principles is the FIRST COURSE that the public's schools MUST ADDRESS!
The Overarching law applied to ALL schools:
All supervising officers and teachers in charge of public, private or parochial schools shall establish and direct the conduct of appropriate daily instruction or ceremonies or, in lieu thereof, at least one full period per week, for the purpose of affirming and developing allegiance to and respect for the Flag of the United States of America, and for the promoting of a clear understanding of our American way of life, with all of the unparalleled individual opportunities, and our republican form of government, (Italics added) with its responsiveness to majority decisions and demands. Such elements shall be included in this program as instruction in the fundamental principles of our form of government, understanding of the provisions of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Constitution of the United States of America, the values to be found in the freedom of speech, of religion and of the press, the values to be found in obedience to the laws of the land and the Commonwealth, the importance of exercising the right of franchise, the obligation of every citizen to stand ready to defend our country at all times from infiltration or aggression by those whose acts and ideologies are contrary to our American philosophy of life (Pennsylvania Statues Public School Code 1949 24 P.S. 15-1511 1998).
The High School law:
In all public, private or parochial schools . . . [d]uring grades seven through twelve inclusive, there shall be included at least four semesters or equivalent study in the history and government of that portion of America which has become the United States of America, and of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, of such nature, kind and quality, as to have for its purpose the developing, teaching, and presentation of the principles and ideals of the American representative form of government, as portrayed and experienced by the acts and policies of the framers of the Declaration of Independence and framers of the Constitution of the United States and Bill of Rights. The study of the history of the United States, including the Constitution of the United States and the study of the history of this Commonwealth, shall also be such as will emphasize the good, worthwhile and best features and points of the social, economic and cultural development and growth of the American family life, high standard of living of the United States citizen, the privileges enjoyed by such citizens, their heritage and its derivations of and in our principles of government. Such instruction shall have for its purpose also in the instilling into every boy and girl who comes out of our public, private and parochial schools their solemn duty and obligation to exercise their voting privilege and to understand the advantages of the American republican form of government (Italics added) as compared with various other forms of government. Such instruction shall continue in courses in the State Colleges to an extent to be determined by the Superintendent of Public Instruction (Pennsylvania Statues Public School Code 1949 16-1605, 1998).