Stop $200 million private school subsidies

Stop $200 million private school subsidies

Richmond News March 9, 2012

The Editor,

I met with my liberal MLA John Yap, to discuss this government’s vision for education and what that will mean for my three young children.

He was inarticulate and uninformed about the day to day challenges and realities of today’s public school classrooms. He dismissed specific challenges in my children’s school around class size and special needs as “rhetoric.” He implied that I was precluded from having an opinion on behalf of my children since I was a teacher in the district.

He defended his government’s spending of over $200 million per year subsidizing private school fees as “choice for B.C. parents.”

If net zero is the absolute outcome, then these funds will go a long way towards resolving the very real and pressing needs in our children’s classrooms.

To those who argue that they pay public school taxes AND their child’s tuition: Yes, you do, but you also pay taxes towards our provincial medical system for services you may also never use, like an emergency room in a town you’ve never been to.

It’s part of living in a society that values all members equally.

Can you imagine the outrage if this government started subsidizing private clinics that catered to those who sought to “skip the line” for services, like an MRI, already provided by the public system, to citizens who could afford to pay the premium charged by private facilities or clinics?

Citizens who want to opt out of the public system, for whatever reason, must pay out of their own pocket without any expectation of government assistance.

I urge everyone, regardless of your opinion of the BCTF or the teaching profession, to call your MLA to express your disinterest in having your public tax dollars pay for Christy Clark’s son’s private school education.

M. Zeni, Richmond

OMG…Where DO I  S-t-a-r-t.
Don’t they teach you in school to do your H-O-M-E-W-O-R-K ?
Lets take this ” reducto ad absurdum “.
Shut down ALL Private SCHOOLs….say in 365 days…aka within one year.

BC Private Schools

Private and independent schools are a well-established part of the education landscape in British Columbia. About 65,000 students attend BC private schools. The network of private and independent schools in BC offer a wide range of choice and diversity. Jewish, Mennonite, Montessori, Waldorf, Sikh, Seventh-day Adventist, special needs, First Nations, various Christian denominations as well as secular day and boarding schools offer a spectrum of choice to parents.

After you shut down the Private Schools, you then have 65,000 students to accomodate in the blessed Public School System,  which you(Gov’t) would be obligated to by law.

—Probably need approx. $10- 15 Million per Elementary School of say “300” enrollment .

—Probably need approx. $ 20- 30 Million per High School designed for “1000” enrollment.

( NOTE: I am not even talking about the land costs )

I recall this debate in the Mid – 1970’s, where the BC Gov’t did commence a partial subsidy to Private Schools , but this was for operating costs ie salaries. The Gov’t does NOT pay for capital costs. Those OLD (or New) Private Schools are solely paid for by the Private Schools..NO Public Finds go towards their construction.

In fact…the Public is being subsidized by Private Schools, not the reverse.  

65,000 students in NON Public  Schools is an indictment of the Public System. Also: A number of Teachers and Principals in the Public System enroll their children in private Schools. No, the parents of Private School students are not rich…many of them are middle class or lower middle class, who sacrifice a LOT to have their kids attend.

In addition, many private schools require a  minimum volunteer hours from the parents as part of the admission and enrollment criteria. Letters like this are from those with very close minds..or shills for the status -quo.



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