Our goal is to end government involvement in elementary and secondary
education in the United States. Our job is to build a constituency for
Separation. That constituency will act-through many independent
organizations-to see Separation accomplished.
Description of The Alliance
Concerned parents and educators founded The Separation of School & State
Alliance in 1994 as a grassroots, nonprofit educational organization. We
operate as a project of the Advocates for Self-Government and are
tax-exempt under IRS Section 501(c)(3). As of February 1997, we have 1,101
financial contributors and 2,078 signers of our concise statement of the
schooling problem and its solution, the "Proclamation for the Separation of
School and State." (See attached.) We have a full-time staff of three and
two part-time employees.
Nobody is fighting for this cuase more thoughtfully or vigorously than
the Separation of School & State Alliance,
whose goal is just what its name implies: to make education
completely and inviolably private.
Diversity and "Common Ground"
Members and supporters of the "Separation Alliance" have a wide variety of
political, economic, theological, social, pedagogical, and ethnic
characteristics. We share common ground in enough areas to allow us to work
We want children to grow into responsible, competent, caring adults.
We are alarmed that more and more children are failing to reach this goal.
We believe that the time has come to reexamine the fundamental structures
of schooling and to suggest real improvement based on the obligation and
right of each parent to provide opportunities for education of his or her
We recognize that there are some temporary and permanent situations in
which parents are unable or unwilling to fulfill their obligations, and
believe that extended families and society have secondary responsibility to
see to the education of these parents' children. Further, we distinguish
between "society" and "government," and believe that society can best
fulfill its responsibilities to children without the burden of state
"assistance" or intervention.
What We Mean by "Separation"
By "Separation," we mean the elimination of local, state, national, and
international governments from all aspects of education, including
financing, determining curriculum, specifying outcomes, compelling
attendance, credentialling teachers, and the accrediting and operating of
How Far Have We Come?
Consider this paraphrase of philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer "Truth
typically passes through three phases: First, it is considered absurd and
ignored or ridiculed. Next, it is considered dangerous to the status quo
and viciously attacked. Lastly, it is considered wholesome, indeed,
The Separation idea is now primarily in phase one.
Criteria for Success
The ultimate evidence of success will be the removal of all children from
tax-funded schools and the refusal of families to accept government
subsidies for their children's education. The success of this movement
hinges upon American families re-assuming responsibility for the education
of their children.
When It's Done-Close up Shop
When Separation is accomplished, the Separation Alliance will have a final
celebration and then cease operations in an orderly fashion.
Our short-term goal is to create effective state coordinators in all 50
states, and hundreds of local chapters. We expect that eighty percent of
the work of Separation will be done by local volunteers, and 20 percent by
paid headquarters and regional staff. When we have 100 chapters, we will be
ready to launch a major advertising and growth push that will begin the
move from Schopenhauer's phase one (absurd) to phase 2 (bold). Here is a
partial list of our current activities:
Spread the Proclamation. Get signatures. Count and publicize growth.
Produce and distribute materials. Use brochures, this newsletter,
advertisements, books, tapes, speeches, talk shows, Internet, etc., to
educate people about Separation. As we have the capacity, produce materials
targeted toward various religious, ethnic, and pedagogic groups.
Train local volunteers. Teach volunteers how to arrange neighborhood
meetings, give speeches, be invited to education panels and talk shows, and
write letters to the editor, op-eds, and articles.
Conduct annual conferences. Provide a platform for spokespersons of
Separation, a focal point for media, and a motivation energizer for
Conduct "School Sakharov" support groups. Provide morale and intellectual
support for "public school" teachers who are considering leaving the
system, especially if they are moving to some other aspect of education
that expands alternatives for children.
Raise funds. We raise money from large and small donors to expand our
work. Revenue was $80,000 in 1994, $160,000 in 1995, and $250,000 in 1996.
We need to double it several more times.
This article is copyrighted by The Education Liberator, the monthly
publication of the Separation of School & State Alliance. Permission is
granted to freely distribute this article as long as this copyright notice is
included in its entirety. The Separation Alliance can be reached online via
or WWW (),
or conventional mail (1071 N. Fulton Ave., Fresno, CA 93728).