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