Among the many Fs the federal government earns for constitutional fidelity, a failing grade is conspicuously assigned to its Department of Education. I doubt even the most jaded federal supremacist can avoid the twinge of guilt for flambéing the 10th Amendment through the nationalization of that most local of all civic concerns, the public school.

While doubtless some regard Congressmen as experts in finger painting, cursive writing, quadratic equations, kickball and spelling, our Founding Fathers did not. The positive right to a free public education found in each of the state constitutions is unambiguously absent from the limited powers granted by the Constitution to the federal government. A federal government was set up to prevent trade wars among the states and coordinate a common defense against bullying by the grandiose Europeans. It was never designed to apportion salt in school cafeterias (see “Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs”, 4088 Federal Register, Vol. 77, No. 17, Thursday, January 26, 2012, Rules and Regulations) or to promote the Keynesian viewpoints of the Federal Reserve Board (see Common Core Standards, Appendix B, p. 177).

Unfortunately, the Constitution is not self-executing. In other words, it cannot be counted on to break out of its glass tomb at the National Archives, race down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the Capitol, and arrest Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner for high crimes against liberty. Instead, that task, the task of enforcing the limits of the Constitution, was left to the sovereigns, i.e., the people, with help from their respective agents, the states. Enforcing those limits, as fans of the Tenth Amendment Center know, is called nullification.

Nullifying federal education laws and regulations is much easier than you think. I’ll go hardest to easiest, but all paths can get you there.

  1. State Nullification.

Forty-five states adopted the federal Common Core curriculum. Five did not (Alaska, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia). Alabama got buyer’s remorse, and just two weeks ago its legislature jointly introduced HB 254 and SB 190 to nullify the Common Core curriculum. If expelling feds from your neighborhood school makes you happy, find a liberty-loving legislator to introduce nullification of the Common Core in your state.

  1. Personal Nullification – Advanced Version.

If you have the time or resources, pull your kids out of their propaganda factories and either homeschool or scrape it together to send them to private school. Not everyone in our Keynesian Depression can afford either choice, but what better way to nullify than abandon government schools altogether.

  1. Personal Nullification – You Can Do This at Home.

Your reasons may be economic or social, but pulling your kids out of the local public school may not fit your lifestyle. Understood. But you have no excuse for not screening, debriefing and refuting the statist brainwashing practiced daily on your son or daughter. Admittedly, neither you nor I understand calculus or remember the periodic table of elements, but if you made it to the end of this article, you are better equipped that any state-credentialed social studies to teach your child about history, economics and liberty. Form groups with like-minded parents and their kids and schedule weekly liberty discussions. To educate is to nullify the government’s program for creating subservient, nationalistic and impoverished subjects.

Nullification, both personal and state, is our rightful remedy. It’s also fun, rewarding and it actually works. If you aren’t nullifying something, e.g., federal education mandates, raw milk prohibitions, gun laws, etc., then may I gently suggest that it’s time to get cracking.

Benjamin Gross
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