May 19th, 2019

Defunding private schools would affect everyone

By Letter to the Editor on November 24, 2018.

There is quite an ongoing debate concerning public funding of education for private schools.

We could discuss the Charter of Rights here, but right now I want to discuss logistics. The Alberta public needs to know how desperately this issue affects every single taxpayer.

If private schools are defunded, many parents will no longer be able to afford to send their children to private schools (we are talking $8,000-10,000 per student).

There are approximately 7,700 children in the Pallister district alone. Adding an extra 1,500 children would mean a 20 per cent increase. Many of these students will be going to rural schools that are already over capacity and relying on portable classrooms.

In 2017, Premier Notley told the CBC: “There’s no question that best practices would be to reduce them even more. But as things stand right now, we’re trying to maintain the quality that we can.” Speaking to the Alberta 2018 budget, the Alberta Teacher’s Association president Greg Jeffery adds that it “does not do enough to help teachers deal with large class sizes or support students with special learning needs.”

Some classes will double in size. As a teacher myself, I can assure you that taking on extra students is stressful. We are talking less resources and one-on-one time with students, particularly ones struggling with learning disabilities.

The Palliser website states that it was forced to cut more than $475,000 from the 2018-19 budget just to balance the books. Defunding private schools hurts not only those children, but all children – your children.

Here is another point: private schools pay approximately 30 per cent of tuition out of their own pockets, including the maintenance of infrastructure (never mind the actual infrastructure) and teacher pensions. The government pays only part of their tuition now. If private schools become a thing of the past, the government will have to fork out all of their tuition.

In a nutshell, what money is going to be used to educate these children if private schools close? Why, your hard-earned tax dollars!

I would like to leave you with one parting thought: imagine as a business owner your employees offered to buy their own office space and vehicles, pay maintenance and renovations costs on both, and pay their own pension and benefits, but only want to be paid 70 per cent of the going wage. Would you not want these employees?

Roliena Slingerland


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17 Responses to “Defunding private schools would affect everyone”

  1. Jim Linville says:

    The solution is simple. Private schools need to follow the policies and laws that are required to get the funding.

    • Tris Pargeter says:

      Yes, this would be the “simple” solution if we didn’t live in cult central here in Lethbridge and area.
      They are learning though, because religious doctrine is not even mentioned by this letter writer, in spite of it being the main reason for the very existence of these “private” schools she speaks of, as WELL as the reason that they are running afoul of Alberta Education’s policies and laws!
      The alternate authority problem that has arisen from the alternate reality of believers looms yet again. Their beloved “divine” authority challenging our merely human rule of law. Sigh. Subsidizing their churches, thereby granting them the freedom of religion/delusion is NEVER enough for these people is it? They wish to defy history and JOIN church with state. Again, it’s only our pathetic, little HUMAN history….

      But tell me, what does “faith-based” mathematics look like? Or “faith-based” science? The only place this mythology, this “faith” can be legitimately introduced in a public education setting is in “social studies” or “sociology,” both of which include the study of different phenomena that are characteristic of human societies.

    • jill0122 says:

      The solution is simple. Tax dollars need to follow the student, when they teach academics. One of the best schools in the province is Immanuel Christian. Ideology has no business in the criteria, unless you want Christian ideology to have as much an impact on government ideology, and LEAVE SEX OUT, unless it is biological studies, period.

      • snoutspot4 says:

        Jill: By what criteria was Immanuel Christian judged?

        Define sex? Do you mean copulation between consenting partners? Do you mean the variations in the definition of biological sex (e.g., chromosomal, gonadal, genital…)? Do you mean gender? Do you mean sexual orientation? What is your idea of how the subject of “sex” should be presented in biological studies? Medicine and Public Health are both biological sciences; thus they must also be included in courses that teach “sex”, don’t you agree?

        There is no such thing as government ideology versus Christian ideology and no the atheists didn’t destroy the public school system. There is only factual, evidence-based practices versus theocracy and denial of children their rights.

  2. snoutspot4 says:

    The letter writer forgets to say that religious schools already take public monies for non-private schools. On my school taxes I get a choice between Catholic and not-Catholic. Where is the choice for Public, no religion required? My tax dollars already fund Christian schools and I have never been happy about it. I want my tax dollars to fund public education for all students in school environments that are indicative of 2018 and not 1918. I do not want my tax dollars to fund learning environments that are nothing more than indoctrination centres. The very idea of teaching anything from a “faith-based” perspective in this modern era is ridiculous (as one other commenter has noted). The place for religion in schools is a class on world religions where students are guided to an understanding of similarities and differences between cultural groups; not in the realm of science, geography, geology, palaeontology, and the list goes on.

    • jill0122 says:

      YOUR TAX DOLLARS??? Are you telling my kids and us, as Grandparents, that our taxes don’t count? WAIT, YOU ARE!! PERFECT! Let our tax dollars follow the children, and if there is a deficit, we’ll have to suck it up. Meanwhile, ideology from both the government and atheist/agnostic viewpoints has overwhelmed the public school system. Get rid of that, and maybe they’ll come back.

      • snoutspot4 says:

        Yes Jill Skriver, my tax dollars for a public education that includes every child, teaches evidence-based curricula rooted in 2018 in all courses, provides a safe and open environment. This includes Biology and Health courses. Factual information given at an age-appropriate level. It includes GSAs if the students want one. It includes information about reproductive health to keep young persons safe.

        And by the way, there was no reason for you to put words in my mouth. Nowhere did I say I was perfect. Your all-caps ad hominem rant was uncalled for as many of yours have been in the past.

      • Tris Pargeter says:

        You don’t get it. Ideology is YOUR thing, it’s why you want schools based on your “beliefs.”
        Instead of believing, how about, straight-up thinking? That’s what an education is FOR, after all, to teach young people how to think, and do it critically. Religion is not about that at all. It’s about doctrine. Too rigid, outdated and irrelevant to be the context for the education of young people in 2018. Also not true enough.
        Public school includes ALL ideologies and therefore has none, adheres more to a philosophy of inclusivity. In that, it is a more accurate representation of our society now and in the future, if we can just keep the current toxic conservatives on the edges where they belong, with their mania for tradition and their childish, pathological fear of change….

  3. jill0122 says:

    Read any stats man!!! A monopoly of anything is far less effective, you take away competition you take away a healthy incentive to do your best. My son’s were in Taber at the PUBLIC high school where Jason Lang was killed. The school never handled bullying at all, (I know this through personal experience), had the school parents vote to abolish the 1 year system and have semester systems. It was over-rode by the Principal, who took a sabbatical a year later and was then later convicted of being part of an illegal gambling scheme. Hazing is a problem in MANY public schools too!

  4. Andrew Koole says:

    Defund them. If you want to send your kids to “private” “school”, go right ahead.

    Pay for it privately too.

  5. Fedup Conservative says:

    When Danielle Smith, leader of the Wildrose, was promoting privatization of our education system one of her candidates told me that she fully supported it . Her son was in a private school and it was wonderful she said and it was only costing her $1,000. per month. I asked her if she would think that way if she had six kids. She said that no one has any right to have more than 2 kids. She got 198 votes in the election, the conservative , who won, got some 25,000 . It proves what the people thought about her wanting privatization of the education system. It’s no secret these Reformers are all about privatization , just like Kenney is promising to do to our health care system and you can bet our education will be next if he’s elected.
    We can all thank Preston Manning and Stephen Harper for creating the Reform Party Policies and as we all know it’s what Klein used to destroy us.

    Pull up and read ” Wildrose Party disguises health-care myths as facts” and “Danielle Smith: Maybe we need to defund public schools’ she is still pushing for privatization. What a wonderful idea while we watch them give away billions of dollars in royalties and tax breaks to their rich friends they want us to be dumb enough to agree to allowing them to privatize our health care and education systems. How stupid do they think we are? Sadly a lot of our fellow seniors are dumb enough to let them do it.

  6. biff says:

    religion – outside of discussing religions in general – does not belong in schools. religion is the place of churches and homes, and privately funded centers. private schools of any stripe, including the so-called separate system – all of which are at their heart, exclusionary – should not in any way be funded by public dollars. those that choose to opt out of the public system must be expected to pay for education solely out of their own pocket.

  7. phlushie says:

    For shits and giggles:
    Dear Dr. Laura:

    Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When people try to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

    I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to follow them:

    a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev.1:9).The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

    b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7.In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanness (Lev.15:19-24).The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

    d) Lev.25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

    • IMO says:

      Begging your pardon, plushie, but it is an incredulous assertion that you are engaged in debate if you respond with simple ersatz platitudes and then make the assumption a “debate” has has taken place, as per your opening statement above. Furthermore, on the point of your so called “debate” vis a vis Leviticus 18:22, unless you read and write in the ancient Hebrew text and are schooled in hermeneutics and the socio-cultural history of the ancient Israelites during this time period, your rendering of this particular text is questionable.

  8. George McCrea says:

    Good one phlushie. Had a good 😂. I will wait to see who answers your questions!!!!!!

  9. biff says:

    thank you bringing that one back to the fore, phlush 🙂 you help find the humour in what too many find to be the serious book of leviticus. the libel can be a fun book if one takes the time to really get at the heart of its human contributors.

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