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Thread: Private school funding

  1. #1

    Default Private school funding

    Interesting:

    Poll suggests most Albertans want to stop funding private schools - Calgary - CBC News
    Excerpt:

    "Mark Ramsankar, president of the Alberta Teacher's Association, says diverting money to private schools puts pressure on an already struggling public system."

    http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/c...erta-1.4075961




    Alberta private schools need to pay their own way, education and labour groups say
    'Our members without exception feel that public dollars should fund public schools'

    Excerpt:
    In 2016, Alberta private schools got $248 million in funding. The group says that money could be phased out over three years, with an exemption for special education schools.

    The money could then be reallocated to the public system where it would be used to reduce school fees and class sizes, increase classroom supports and introduce a school lunch program.

    According to the ATA, private schools promote smaller class sizes, but that comes at a cost with parents often having to pay anywhere between $10,000 to $15,000 per year, or even more, for their child's private education.

    http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/e...erta-1.3996900


    The 2027 budget is $9.6 billion. So it appears that 2.6% is going to private schools.
    Last edited by KC; 20-04-2017 at 10:08 AM.

  2. #2

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    a bit more... "public schools do not have the supports that private schools have to provide education to special needs students."

    Hmm doesn't this make them look like cherry picking money grabbers? Anyone that knows about having a child that is coded, knows that "coding" only really means that schools tend to take the money as use it as they see fit - and only sometimes dedicate it to the child with the disability.

    "Joel French, the executive director of Public Interest Alberta,... " said his group recognizes that existing public schools do not have the supports that private schools have to provide education to special needs students. He said that is why they are not pushing to have their funding withdrawn." (source - see below)

    bolding is mine


    February 24, 2017 4:26 pm Updated: February 24, 2017 4:34 pm
    Private schools hit back at push to have public funding withdrawn in Alberta

    By Alyssa Julie

    ...

    John Jagersma, executive director of the Association of Independent Schools and Colleges of Alberta said many of the parents in the private system, especially those with children who have unique needs, have tried other systems.

    “Parents choose to take on the sacrifice of an independent school because they desperately want what is best for their child and they find a system that works,” Jagersma said.

    “A lot of these kids have pretty unique needs and the schools have been able to support and accommodate that, which is wonderful.”

    French said his group recognizes that existing public schools do not have the supports that private schools have to provide education to special needs students. He said that is why they are not pushing to have their funding withdrawn.

    “In the long term, what we believe is those supports should be built into public, Catholic and Francophone systems. But they’re not right now and it’s not a quick fix to do that.”
    Jagersma said private school systems have been around since before Alberta became a province and have been receiving government funding for almost five decades.

    He said it would be cheaper for taxpayers to partially fund private schools than to place those students in the public school system.

    http://globalnews.ca/news/3271749/pr...wn-in-alberta/
    Parents resort to pulling special-needs children from resource-starved schools
    NELLY BOUEVITCH
    Special to The Globe and Mail
    Published Friday, Feb. 05, 2016

    ...This has led many Canadian parents, such as Ms. Copeland, who is also active with the advocacy group BC Parents of Special Needs Children, to turn to alternative schooling options such as distance education centres. In a survey of 236 parents of children with special needs, 51 per cent removed them from the public system, according to the group.

    These numbers mirror the trend elsewhere in the country. In 2014, People for Education held a survey of 1,349 Ontario schools, revealing that about half of elementary principals have told students with special needs to stay home from school for all or some of the day, in part because there’s not enough help for them. In a report published the same year, People for Education found the province’s elementary schools have an average of 37 students with special education needs per special education teacher.

    “The misconception a lot of times is that if we just put kids with disabilities in the classroom, that’s inclusion. Inclusion is based on the principle of equity, justice and the understanding that all kids belong,” says Jacqueline Specht, an associate professor in the areas of educational psychology and special education at the University of Western Ontario, and director of the Canadian Research Centre on Inclusive Education.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...ticle28541670/


    Why integration isn’t working for special needs kids—or their classmates
    Toronto parents are suing the school board for failing to protect their daughters from a schoolmate with special needs. Theirs is a familiar story: I’m the mother of a kid other parents complain about.
    BY RACHEL GIESE | JUN 20, 2016


    ...
    The family’s lawyer told the Globe and Mail that the parents’ problem isn’t really with the child with special needs, referred to in the suit as “Student L.” Their concern is that the school integrated Student L into a regular classroom without proper care and resources. “Special-needs children should be accommodated,” said the family’s lawyer. “They should ..."

    Here’s the problem: Teachers in mainstream classrooms rarely have the education or expertise to work with complex disabilities that include difficulties with behaviour. Rates of diagnoses of autism, for instance, are growing exponentially, and kids with conditions like this require very particular accommodation, including high teacher-to-student ratios, educators with extensive and specialized training, additional therapists and mental health workers, and environments designed to reduce stress.

    Typically, though, integration involves simply sticking children with special needs in a regular classroom and providing them with limited and inconsistent support. Managing a busy classroom with ever-dwindling resources is demanding, and teachers are already overextended. Now imagine adding a child (or several children) who are hyper-sensitive to sound and touch, or who require one-on-one attention to decode a paragraph of text, or who are prone to explosive fits. How is this fair to anyone?

    What’s more, research indicates that a teacher’s attitude toward integration is a huge factor in whether it will succeed or fail. Not surprisingly, a lot of teachers begrudge being assigned children with special needs—especially when they know they won’t get the resources to support those kids properly. All of this results in the exact opposite of what integration is supposed to achieve. Instead of making children with special needs feel included, they wind up feeling unwelcome and resented by both their teachers and their classmates. And instead of non-disabled children learning compassion, they end up afraid or disdainful of disabled kids.

    ...

    At several Canadian schools, autistic kids, some as young as nine, have been handcuffed. A mother in Mississauga, Ont., recently sued her local school board, alleging her autistic 12-year-old son was placed in a solitary isolation room and denied food and bathroom breaks. In Ontario, principals can use a loophole called “exclusions” to toss out disabled kids for indefinite periods of time, if they feel their school can’t accommodate them. This way, some children have been denied access to education for months on end.

    The overuse of suspensions, expulsions and exclusions suggests that schools don’t have the funding or proficiency to meet their obligations to children with special needs. Integration—however noble the original intent—is failing both children with disabilities and their non-disabled classmates.
    ...

    https://www.todaysparent.com/family/...ir-classmates/





    Our autism story: The tough decision we made
    The LaBarbera hockey couple made the choice to live apart to help their son with autism get the best possible care.
    BY KODETTE LABARBERA | APR 2, 2015


    The challenge was Jason’s hockey contract. We started working with the therapist in March, and that July, Jason signed with the Edmonton Oilers. I quickly found out that Ryder’s diagnosis in Phoenix didn’t fit the Alberta standards and they would need to re-do an assessment. The process was exhausting and included in-home visits and standing in front of a panel to explain why we needed services. And then, as soon as we were set up with therapists in Edmonton, Jason was traded to Chicago. Moving with him was out of the question, but staying in Edmonton wasn’t really a great option either—we had few friends or family there. We decided that it was best for the kids and I to return home to Calgary where we have more support, and because the move was inter-provincial, we could easily transfer the funding.

    Once in Calgary, though, I had to start the process of getting on wait lists for therapists all over again. I remember one night after putting the kids to bed, just staring at the paperwork in front of me and breaking down. I couldn’t stop crying. We were wasting so much time always being in limbo. Ryder didn’t deserve this. ..."

    https://www.todaysparent.com/family/our-autism-story-2/

    Last edited by KC; 20-04-2017 at 12:49 PM.

  3. #3

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    My parents sent me to private school for 9-onwards because public schools tend to only have resources for special needs kids that happen to fall on the low side of the bell curve. The level of support for gifted-but-still-special-needs kids is simply not there, or wasn't when I was in school. So my parents sucked it up & off to boarding/private school I went.
    Giving less of a damn than everů Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by noodle View Post
    My parents sent me to private school for 9-onwards because public schools tend to only have resources for special needs kids that happen to fall on the low side of the bell curve. The level of support for gifted-but-still-special-needs kids is simply not there, or wasn't when I was in school. So my parents sucked it up & off to boarding/private school I went.
    There's strengths and weaknesses with any system. One size just doesn't fit all when it comes to people issues.

    I would guess that the boarding schools, like native residential schools have several dysfunctional aspects to them like the dysfunctional british mandarin system that exported administrators to Canada to create many Canadian institutions. Yet it will work great for certain kids. To each according to his/her/___ need. The high intelligence kids are well known for their low intelligence in terms of social interaction. A surplus in one characteristic essentially implying or leading to deficits in others. That's problematic in many schooling situations since schools are very social entities these days.


    I know one guy that started to get involved in crime as a teen and his parents sent him to a private school in Mill Bay BC. His marks skyrocketed, he somewhat cleaned up his act and has done ok in some ways over the years (i.e. is apparently very wealth and well employed). The luck of having wealthy parents to backstop destructive behaviour is always an advantage.
    Last edited by KC; 20-04-2017 at 01:05 PM.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    I would guess that the boarding schools, like native residential schools have several dysfunctional aspects to them...
    Your guess would be wrong, at least compared to my boarding school, which was about as close to idyllic & amazing as I could have possibly imagine. I toured a lot of schools before I chose the one I did & loved my time at Shawnigan more than anything.

    https://www.shawnigan.ca/page

    That being said, it's extremely, extremely expensive, far beyond the reach of most parents (~$48K base tuition for a Canadian boarder this upcoming year). I'm extremely fortunate that my parents were willing to sacrifice so much for my education.
    Giving less of a damn than everů Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by noodle View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    I would guess that the boarding schools, like native residential schools have several dysfunctional aspects to them...
    Your guess would be wrong, at least compared to my boarding school, which was about as close to idyllic & amazing as I could have possibly imagine. I toured a lot of schools before I chose the one I did & loved my time at Shawnigan more than anything.

    https://www.shawnigan.ca/page

    That being said, it's extremely, extremely expensive, far beyond the reach of most parents (~$48K base tuition for a Canadian boarder this upcoming year). I'm extremely fortunate that my parents were willing to sacrifice so much for my education.
    I said that they would work great for some kids. Moreover, "sacrifice" is a loaded term. For many parents that high tuition isn't a huge financial stretch, but for the bulk of the population it would be either unjustifiable or impossible. And that tuition raises other issues about the unevenness of the playing field. ('Meritocracy' fair and open competition and all that.) However, I'd again guess that most special needs kids tend to start with an uneven field and that often includes a lack of requisite family resources. So the public system is all there is except where luck of circumstance provides for a wider choice and options for these kids. And that issue is what jumps out in the discussion of "public" money funding "private" schools, when the "public" schools fail to offer what is being sought by parents and/or needed by students.
    Last edited by KC; 20-04-2017 at 02:14 PM.

  7. #7

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    And here I was absolutely convinced I could have nothing in common with noodle

    Your guess would be wrong, at least compared to my boarding school, which was about as close to idyllic & amazing as I could have possibly imagine. I toured a lot of schools before I chose the one I did & loved my time at Shawnigan more than anything.
    I'll guarentee we were separated by several decades though. Spent 2 terms at Shawnigan Lake School (for surprisingly similar reasons) before the family moved to Northern Canada. Who woulda thunk.

    That said as a father of a academically gifted coded child in the EPS system, it is very true funded kids are treasured for their funding, we have been lucky with our child but the horror stories of diverted funding I've heard from other parents of coded special needs children is unreal and one of the reasons I do not support the call for a single public school system.

    While not Catholic when it came to early childhood development programming the Catholic system was far superior with their Thousand Voices program (which was unfunded and I think still is unfunded but at no cost to parents). I do not believe that EPS has a similar programming to this day. Our child has been in the EPS system since and overall it has fluctuated between tolerable to phenomenal depending on the teacher/teacher aid each year. Between all of the support systems we have used it has been a difficult and expensive process but our child has now transitioned to regular classes, but will continue to need supports as we move through their high school years. Not all parents could have afforded all the unfunded supports we have used and it puts those kids in a tough place, often falling through the cracks. IMO

    Until I can see pretty significant changes to the non Catholic public system I'm going to be a really tough sell on a single public system because of what I've seen.

    IMO
    Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 20-04-2017 at 07:25 PM. Reason: spelling/ wording

  8. #8

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    The issues with public and private somewhat mirror the health care system. If you pay taxes should the public system capture 100% of that budgetary money?

    At first thought I'd bet most people would say yes.

    Now, however, let's say you, a lifelong taxpayer, get a disease like a rare cancer, where the only treatment is one offered in the states. Should any taxpayer money go to funding that out of country treatment or should you be on the hook to pay for it 100% yourself, if you can afford it, or suffice with a non-cure treatment or service (like palliative care) domestically?

    So should a notional tax allocation follow the child (each child getting its cut of the funding, which is what happens now*) or should the taxes assigned to a child for education be stripped away if they seek alternative schooling?


    *I believe this thinking / theory drives some public budgeting already with schools whereby a proportioned assignment of money following kids to the schools they attend and moving as they change schools in the public system.
    Last edited by KC; 20-04-2017 at 09:57 PM.

  9. #9

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    KC
    *I believe this thinking / theory drives some public budgeting already with schools whereby a proportioned assignment of money following kids to the schools they attend and moving as they change schools in the public system.


    At the Provincial level this is essentially correct, little bit more complex, but correct.

    I haven't read the Edmonton Public School Budget for a few years (could never get answers on my questions), but when I did yearly and compared it to the Provincial allocations at the elementary level it was surprising.

    Children in elementary school are assigned funding... regular student gets X, Special Needs children (varies depending on the Special need) get X+Y from the Province.

    The last I read the EPS budget a few years ago that money was pooled and then reassigned based on the EPSB determination of per student funding on a larger range of scales.

    This I understand, from talking to parents from other jurisdications at the time, was (maybe is still) a shared practice across jurisdictions.

    In short ... what the Province may say your child is funded at and what the school board assigns may be different.

    To add to the confusion on funding, what the school board assigns and how the individual school applies it is often different again.

    Example: A friend of ours with a special needs child in a different school than ours was funded for a full time aid due to the childs issues, but at the school level the aid assigned to him was reportedly responsible for 3 special needs children in his school ... so while the funding was attached to one child the aid was asisiting 3! When complaints were apparently made they fell on deaf ears.

    That's been the experience I've read and heard of in past years anyway. FWIW

    IMO
    Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 20-04-2017 at 11:24 PM.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    And here I was absolutely convinced I could have nothing in common with noodle

    Your guess would be wrong, at least compared to my boarding school, which was about as close to idyllic & amazing as I could have possibly imagine. I toured a lot of schools before I chose the one I did & loved my time at Shawnigan more than anything.
    I'll guarentee we were separated by several decades though. Spent 2 terms at Shawnigan Lake School (for surprisingly similar reasons) before the family moved to Northern Canada. Who woulda thunk.
    Haha. Interesting. What house? Have you been back recently? I've not been in about a decade but my parents recently did a tour while visiting friends in Duncan & were blown away at how much the school's changed.

    My nephew seems to be going down the same road as I (and you, evidently) & while he currently goes to the best school in Calgary (academically) it's not really being the best environment for him despite being a private school. So he'll be touring schools on The Island ASAP & will likely end up at Shaw or Brentwood.
    Giving less of a damn than everů Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  11. #11

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    Haha. Interesting. What house? Have you been back recently? I've not been in about a decade but my parents recently did a tour while visiting friends in Duncan & were blown away at how much the school's changed.


    I couldn;t remember to save my life ... it was the early 70s! If I stumble on my books while we are packing I'll pass it on.

    Stopped back in mid 80s, at that time nothing had changed. Plan to stop back someday just to scare myself.

    Good luuck to your nephew, both schools are a good choice, hope he finds the one that fits him best!

    T

  12. #12

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    So you'd be either Groves', Lake's, Ripley's or Lonsdale's I believe. If you were there in the early 70s & your house was one of the three newish ones you'd be Groves', Lonsdale's or Copeman's depending on how far from the main building you had to walk to get home (in that order, from closest to furthest). Otherwise you were in Lake's or Ripley's (but I can't give guidance there, as they were rebuilt between our respective times & were the "new" houses when I was there in the early 90s.

    I hope he'll find his place too. He's a super smart, super sensitive kid that's a bit eager to run with the slightly dodgy popular crowd. A little more comprehensive structure would help him immensely.
    Giving less of a damn than everů Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  13. #13

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    Yeah I can't remember to save my life, but like I said we are currently packing and sorting our house preparing for a move so when I stumble on it I'll let you know.

    Sounds like a good choice for your nephew and will help him on his way ... sure didn't hurt me. Needed a little push in the right direction once upon a time.

    T

  14. #14

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    So what lessons from the private school experience can be brought to the debate about funding or de-funding Alberta's private school?

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    So what lessons from the private school experience can be brought to the debate about funding or de-funding Alberta's private school?
    That one is easy KC.

    Diversity in schooling is good. Cirriculum must be mandated and teaching standards must also be high and enforced.

    Funding should be attached to the student K-12 then let the families decide ... all schools should be considered public schools, as long as all students are welcomed.

    IMO

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    So what lessons from the private school experience can be brought to the debate about funding or de-funding Alberta's private school?
    That one is easy KC.

    Diversity in schooling is good. Cirriculum must be mandated and teaching standards must also be high and enforced.

    Funding should be attached to the student K-12 then let the families decide ... all schools should be considered public schools, as long as all students are welcomed.

    IMO
    This is Alberta. Don't we prefer all our eggs in one basket?

  17. #17
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    If you look at education taxes, the province isn't paying for the student, the taxpayers are. So why should the province dictate where the money goes? Assign a dollar value for a student for a grade (some grades will be cheaper and others more expensive to teach) and let the money follow the student.

    Curriculum is already mandated and in ways enforced by the achievement tests and diploma exams. They should re-instate the 50% school, 50% diploma exam final score that existed before.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    If you look at education taxes, the province isn't paying for the student, the taxpayers are. So why should the province dictate where the money goes? Assign a dollar value for a student for a grade (some grades will be cheaper and others more expensive to teach) and let the money follow the student.

    Curriculum is already mandated and in ways enforced by the achievement tests and diploma exams. They should re-instate the 50% school, 50% diploma exam final score that existed before.
    Couple things Sundance
    1) The Education Tax no where near covers the costs of K-12 Schooling is hugely funded from General revenues. You can confirm through the alberta.gov website.

    2) Funding K-12 is already attached to the student ... on a sliding scale per student dependent on grade, special needs etc. EX: Afew years ago base funding for K-6 was approx $3500.00 per student with no special needs. I am sure it is drastically more now. The money follows the student to which ever school they attend in the public/catholic/distance learning sectors, including charter but not private as I recall.

    IIRC and its all in the Provincal Education Budget and the EPSB Budget.

    IMO

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    Okay so school taxes cover a part, but general revenue comes from taxes and oil/gas royalties which arguably a form of tax. The taxpayer is still paying the bill not the government.

  20. #20

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    In 2016 it was $248 million and now it is $162 million?


    Public school board lobbies for government to phase out private school funding | Edmonton Journal

    “Citing the $162-million annual cost of private schools that could be diverted into public schools, the trustees voted 8-1 to lobby Education Minister David Eggen to wean independent schools off public coffers.

    Opposed was trustee Sherry Adams, who said she campaigned on school choice in last fall’s civic election. The five per cent of Alberta students who attend independent schools use two per cent of provincial education funding, she said. If public funding evaporated, private schools would close, and public education expenses would jump as students went into the public system, Adams said. “

    Vice-chairwoman Bridget Stirling said it’s myth that defunding private schools prompts them to close. She pointed to Ontario private schools that operate without public funds.

    Most Alberta independent schools get 70 per cent of the funding per student that a public school receives, ...”


    http://edmontonjournal.com/news/loca...school-funding
    Last edited by KC; 21-02-2018 at 07:49 AM.

  21. #21

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    So, again, are special education schools exempt? Why would they be exempt?

    Is it that the School Board doesn’t want to deal with the issues of properly providing for such student needs and having to meet their full educational costs?
    Last edited by KC; 21-02-2018 at 01:46 PM.

  22. #22

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    Some good philiosophical arguments here in the first article. So don’t these apply equally to the Catholic school system or does this proposal include it?

    Edmonton Public School Board calls on province to phase out funding for private schools

    http://www.cbc.ca/1.4544479


    ‘The system is corrupt’: Edmonton trustee calls for merger of public, Catholic school boards - Edmonton | Globalnews.ca

    https://globalnews.ca/news/3758770/t...school-boards/



    Education Facts in Alberta | Fraser Institute

    “The basic math of this argument doesn’t add up. Parents choosing independent schools receive only a partial grant to offset private tuition costs. Specifically, accredited independent schools in Alberta receive either 60 or 70 per cent of the equivalent operating cost per pupil for public schools in the region.

    And this funding only covers operating costs—not capital costs, so the overall contribution is actually less than 60-70 per cent. Put simply, the provincial treasury saves between 30 and 40 per cent of the operating cost of every student attending an independent school plus the entirety of capital costs.

    The second faulty premise is that Alberta doesn’t spend enough on education. Again, this assertion doesn’t comport with the facts. In 2011-12, the most recent year of available data, Alberta spent more per student than any other province on public K-12 education—$13,497 per student in 2011-12 compared to the $11,835 national average. ...”

    ...

    Alberta is one of only three provinces that provide fully-funded Catholic education, and one of only two provinces that provide fully-funded French Catholic education, within the public (and unionized) system. Meanwhile, B.C., which has more than two-and-a-half times the percentage of students attending independent schools, offers religious and a plethora of other choices in education for parents through independent schools—not the public system, like in Alberta.

    This model is considerably less expensive. B.C. spends 85 per cent of what Alberta does on a per pupil basis, with comparable education performance. And the 12.0 per cent of students in independent schools in B.C. underestimates parental demand since more than half of independent schools surveyed in 2011 indicated a wait list for entry....”
    https://www.fraserinstitute.org/arti...-facts-alberta
    Last edited by KC; 21-02-2018 at 09:59 AM.

  23. #23

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    If we defund Private Schools then the funding of Catholic Schools needs to be abolished also IMO.
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  24. #24

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    our school boards are so messed up that they shouldn't be attacking other peoples school choices. Let's focus on our students. Let's focus on more important matters.

    Why do we elect these school board trustees? I think we would be better served by having people with experience running our schools.

  25. #25

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    Seems like empire building to me.

    Alberta Education has curriculum standards that all schools must follow to get any funding; and that should be good enough.

    The public School board seems happy that there is funding for specialized schools of all kinds as long as the money flows through them.
    There can only be one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gwill211 View Post
    our school boards are so messed up that they shouldn't be attacking other peoples school choices. Let's focus on our students. Let's focus on more important matters.

    Why do we elect these school board trustees? I think we would be better served by having people with experience running our schools.
    Curious what kind of experience would you expect them to have? What would make them qualified, in your mind?
    They're going to park their car over there. You're going to park your car over here. Get it?

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Komrade View Post
    If we defund Private Schools then the funding of Catholic Schools needs to be abolished also IMO.
    It is interesting. How much is the Catholic system’s budget?

    Also proposing to defund some religious schools but not all seems like a deliberately discriminatory action. Even if a position is put forth to defund all religious schools, doing so in the knowledge that there are some sort of constitutional guarantees favouring certain religions and preventing universal secular schooling, is essentially religious discrimination couched in idealized language. It’s a tough situation with our legacy of old beliefs and practices.

  28. #28

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    I think it would be reasonable to defund further expansion of the Catholic system but otherwise I think that our current system is pretty much ideal.

    All schools other than public are responsible for their own facilities, while public facilities are all paid for from the public purse. Sounds good.

    Private and independent schools get 65-75% of the basic instructional funding, only if they follow provincial curriculum and meet provincial standards. Sounds good to me too. Funding schools that don't meet provincial standards or don't follow the curriculum is, I think, where most people would see a problem.
    There can only be one.

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