CAPTION: Teacher Mahlon's school in northern Indiana
Some of you may have been following the new columnist on this site, Teacher Mahlon. He is an Old Order Amish teacher in an a parochial school. Ever since the landmark 1972 court case Yoder vs. Wisconsin which allowed the Amish to pull their children from the formal education system after the eighth grade, parochial schools have been gradually increasing in influence and numbers. Prior to that case, most Amish attended public schools. There are still many places where the Amish go to public school but the trend has definitely been favoring Amish schools. One Amish Mom sums up her reasoning for resisting the trend and continuing to send her children to public schools:
"They are going to have to live among non-Amish their whole lives, so they might as well get used to it in public school."
She then added: "And, besides, the tuition is steep at the Amish school."
Those are the two main reasons Amish parents give me for sending their children to public school. The Amish do have to pay a tuition to attend the "one room" parochial school. And while the tuition cost for a child for the whole year may be reasonable, most Amish have 6, 7, or 8 children at least. In those cases the tuition bill can become quite high.
Over the weekend, The Goshen News in northern Indiana posted an interesting article about area Amish and their impact on the public school system
And if you missed Teacher Mahlon's column about graduation a couple of weeks ago, here it is again.
The Mahlon column link goes to the sam one as the school system impact link.
Lola, thanks! I fixed it, should work now!
Very surprised that homeschooling is not the norm amongst the Amish. If the opportunity arises, you might inquire as to why they do not utilize, what would seem to me, the best approach to schooling Amish children especially when an Amish school is either not available or too expensive.
Great blog. You do a nice job of covering many different facets of Amish life.
John, thanks for the kind comments! I will do some more digging on this topic and report back soon....I do see home-schooling is growing more popular among the Amish, for sure. I think maybe it took awhile to catch on for practical reasons...Often an Amish mom is so busy with canning, cooking, cleaning, sewing, gardening, etc, adding school-teacher to the mix was/is daunting, but I do see that slowly changing....