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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

Parents of students in private schools, are in fact SUBSIDIZING students in public education

Sandy Garossino, the editor-in-chief of the Vancouver Observer, is the latest in a long line of individuals who appear to take delight in bashing the private school system, because of the alleged, and totally miss-placed insinuation that private schools don’t pay their fair share into the system, AND that they take valuable resources from the public school system. (

Neither of these assertions is true.

She starts her piece by stating, “Christy Clark never met a millionaire she didn’t like. And that goes double for their little darlings.”  Even the subtitle to her piece, “With permanent tax exemption, Christy Clark takes care of the beleaguered 1%” is in fact a slap in the face to the thousands of parents in BC – who are in large part in the middle class – that make financial sacrifices to have their children in the private school system for a variety of reasons.  And in large part, they are NOT parents whose children attend ‘St. George’s senior campus (the junior school is nearby), an exclusive high school for 700 boys located in Vancouver’s affluent Dunbar neighbourhood.’

I get VERY tired about hearing how much independent schools are hurting the public school system, because they take financial resource away.

For those who have refused to believe this is untrue, or are being brainwashed by partisan comments from the BCTF and its partners, here are the FACTS:

Grants To Independent Schools:
The district operating grant consists of the per-pupil base allocation plus supplementary amounts added to produce the per-student district operating grant amount. Supplementary amounts are included for unique student needs (including learning disabilities, learning assistance, speech and language services, mild intellectual disabilities, English Language Learning, aboriginal education, and adult education programs), enrolment decline (greater than one percent per year), salary differentials, transportation and housing, and unique geographic factors. The supplementary factors account for the difference in school district operating grant amounts.

The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) eligible students enrolled in an independent school is a key component to calculating school grants. A full grant is paid for each full-time student who is enrolled for a minimum of 600 hours from July 1 to May 15 of the school year. Partial grants are paid for eligible partial students who receive less than 600 hours of instruction.

The designated percentages are as follows:

Group 1 = 50 percent of the local district's per-student grant amount

Group 2 = 35 percent of the local district's per-student grant amount

In others words, each student in private education, provides an additional 50% of their grants TOO the public school system. Parents of students in private schools, are in fact SUBSIDIZING students in public education.

FURTHER … what have the grants been to public schools over the past 5 schools years?  Let’s have a look:

2009 / 10 … $251 million

2010 / 11 … $270 million

2011 / 12 … $283.6 million

2012 / 13 … $295.5 million

2013 / 14 … $314.5 million

And before anyone jumps all over private schools for being elitist, the vast majority have demographics as mixed as any public school, and parents that are, by and large, everyday hard working people that live in the same neighbourhoods as everyone else.

Now let me ask this question:

How is getting only 50% of /student funding a subsidy? Students in private schools support public system to tune of Millions of dollars.

What's my final thoughts on this? Well to be honest, Math was never one of my best subjects in school, but I have had to learn math for business, I in my opinion, I am pretty good at what I need to calculate.

No matter how others want to spin it, the Per Student payment for children in private education is 50% of what it is for students in public schools (approximately $4,000 vs. $8,000).

AND again ... most families with children in private school ARE NOT rich elitist people. They are everyday working people that chose to allocate the money they earn, to have their children in private schools. They come from the ever shrinking middle-class.

Enough!!! Leave these poor people alone. And ... let them continue to subsidize those who are in the public school system.

I’m Alan Forseth in Kamloops … care to share your thoughts on this topic?


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