In his letter to the editor (Education at Risk) published Sunday, March 27, Mr. Gunner underestimates or chooses to ignore the positive effect the partial government funding of private schools has on the public school system.
Yes, the $30 million allocated to private schools in B.C., came from the taxpayers’ pocket (my pocket included).
However, though I contributed just as well as you and any other taxpaying citizen, to the educational fund I, who have chosen the private school system, only get 50 per cent of the operational amount, whereas you will get 100 per cent for your child in the public school.
Does Mr. Gunner not realize that, should these private school students return to the public school system, an additional $30 million would have to be extracted from the taxpayers’ pocket to cover the operating costs necessary to educate these children?
Here are the facts: for any child that attends a public school in District 22 the school will receive just over $7,000 for the (operational) cost of educating this child.
In contrast, for any child that attends a private school in District 22 that school will only receive 50 per cent of that amount, or about $3,500 for the (operational) cost of educating this child.
Should this same (private school) child be educated through the public system it would now be necessary to add an additional $3,500 to the operational cost of this child.
So in reality, I as taxpayer who have chosen to send my child to a private school, am freeing up money to become available to the child in the public school.
In addition, private schools do not receive any money for the capital costs needed to build private schools.
The money for the building of these schools came solely from the pocket of the parents who made this choice – additional students for which you Mr. Gunner, are now not responsible, or paying.
You are welcome Mr. Gunner – I don’t begrudge you this additional money.
I will gladly pay the additional cost (and it is substantial) to have my child educated in the school of my choice.