Mind you, I'm not saying there are no good public schools. I'm certainly not saying that there are no good teachers in public schools. I am absolutely certain that there are honest, reliable, loving, even Christian teachers working in public schools. I'm not saying otherwise. The problem is not that they don't exist. The problem is that the system is rotten at the core ... like the natural human beings that run it. Today's public school systems in America (again, I'm talking about the systems, not individuals or exceptions) are fundamentally religious -- built around the religion of secular humanism. Why, then, would Christians wish to send their kids to pagan temples for their education?
But, look, I am always of the opinion that opinions are fine, but we need to know what God says before making it a principle. You may be of the opinion that sardines are tasty; I am not. No problem. No conflict. But when you suggest that arsenic is tasty and I know it's deadly, we're going to do more than separate on matters of opinion. So, is this educational thing a matter of preference and opinion, or does God actually have something to say about it? I think He does.
There are, obviously, no biblical references to public or government-run schools. Don't look for them. They're not there. There are, however, references to teaching your children. First and foremost, God places the responsibility of teaching your children squarely in the lap of you fathers (Eph 6:4). Not that this is meant that fathers are required to be the home-school teachers of their children, but certainly fathers are to be responsible for the teaching of their children. Note, however, that there is another aspect to this responsibility in the verse I referenced. "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." (Eph 6:4) That is, fundamental to the education fathers are to ensure for their children is an instruction of the Lord. Their education needs to be immersed in Christ, not merely reading, writing, and arithmetic, etc. God commanded the Israelites, "And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." (Deut 6:6-7) Yes, they were to teach their children diligently, but what? God's Word. Because, you see, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction." (Prov 1:7) Education is not supposed to be independent of God. On the other hand, the public schools of America mandate it. So sending your kids to public schools is sending them in direct violation of what God says is right.
Beyond the texts on teaching your kids and knowledge, there are Scriptures that are oriented around how Christians are to live. Here are some examples.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers. (Psa 1:1)So, what do we do? We send our kids off to walk in the counsel of the wicked and stand in the way of sinners. We encourage them to be conformed to this world. We yoke them with unbelievers. We immerse them in the philosophy and empty deceit of current tradition driven by the elemental spirits of the world. Now, how is this reasonable, consistent, or obedient?
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Rom 12:2)
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? (2 Cor 6:14-15)
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (Col 2:8)
Educating our kids is our responsibility. It isn't the responsibility of the government, the public school system, or some other teachers. It is not even the responsibility of the church. We might employ tools that include other people, but educating our kids is our responsibility. Fathers, it is, biblically, your responsibility. It is possible to find good teachers, churches, maybe even schools that can assist you in executing your responsibility to "bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." But abdicating that responsibility in favor of churches, teachers, and, worst of all, a public school system fundamentally premised as hostile to God is not an act of obedience for any Christian father or any Christian parent. Too many of us are allowing our kids to be taught, both at school and at church, things contrary to the truth and even hostile to God. Then we wonder what happened when our kids go astray. Wonder no more. It can often be traced to our sin of neglecting God's commands in raising our kids. We ought, then, to follow Christ's command, "Go and sin no more." (John 8:11)