Tea Partier: Get Rid of Public Schools

David Harmer says public schools are "socialism in education."

By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 14, 2010 11:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Tea Party-backed frontrunner in a California congressional race has some unorthodox views on education: he wants to abolish public schools entirely, Mother Jones reports. In past articles, Republican David Harmer—currently leading in California's 11th Congressional District—writes that "government should exit the business of running and funding schools” and refers to public education as "socialism in education."

Harmer says he wants to return to "the way things worked through the first century of American nationhood,” when, he claims, free-market schools resulted in literacy levels equal to or higher than today’s. That’s just false, experts insist. "We're talking about going back to times when very, very limited numbers of people in the society had access to education,” one says, while another calls Harmer’s position “very extreme.”

Michael Steele is seen between a pair of campaign signs for Republican congressional candidate David Harmer, during a rally in Stockton, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010.
Michael Steele is seen between a pair of campaign signs for Republican congressional candidate David Harmer, during a rally in Stockton, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Michael Steele visited California's Central Valley  to campaign for Republican congressional candidate David Harmer and others as part of the RNC's national Fire Pelosi bus tour.
Michael Steele visited California's Central Valley to campaign for Republican congressional candidate David Harmer and others as part of the RNC's national "Fire Pelosi" bus tour.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
David Harmer embraces a campaign volunteer on Wednesday, Nov.3, 2009 in Walnut Creek, Calif. Harmer is currently the frontrunner in California's 11th Congressional District.
David Harmer embraces a campaign volunteer on Wednesday, Nov.3, 2009 in Walnut Creek, Calif. Harmer is currently the frontrunner in California's 11th Congressional District.   (AP Photo/George Nikitin)
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