Re: Province should stop funding private schools (Letters, April 22)
Independent (private) schools are a good deal for B.C.
It makes sense to think that the government’s funding of independent schools is a loss to the public school budget, but over 10 per cent of B.C. students are enrolled in independent schools receiving only 5.4 per cent of the budget. These schools are funded at 35 to 50 per cent of the public school rate per student.
So in effect, independent schools educate B.C. students at less than half the cost to the government, with parents picking up the other half.
If parents had to pay the total cost of independent school education, many would be forced to enter the public school system, which causes many issues. The government would now be paying double the cost to educate some of the 83,644 independent school students, and, as we know, B.C. public schools are already full. Where would we put them?
In addition, independent schools serve large numbers of special needs students since they may have smaller classes or other necessary accommodations.
It’s not about a privileged few getting a free ride from the government. Independent schools provide the options in education that we know students desperately need in a very cost-effective way.