Clark's support for Catholic schools highlighted

The B.C. Catholic newspaper has identified a reason for Catholic schools to celebrate Christy Clark's victory in the provincial Liberal leadership race. In a blog posting on the eve of that victory, the publication noted Ms. Clark, as education minister, made "history in 2003 when she attended the 25th Annual Catholic Educators' Conference organized by the Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese. Clark was the first education minister to visit the conference since its inception in 1978, they ear after independent schools first received funding from the provincial government. At the event she recognized the quality of Catholic schools and pledged her support of independent schools."

11 Comments

In a 21st century secular society, I'm quite sure I'm not the only taxpayer appalled at the thought of scarce tax dollars being diverted to subsidize the brainwashing of children by any religious group or private schools that exist to serve private interests.

It might be tolerable if taxpayers were volunteering to pay extra to do this, but this funding has been taken directly from the public education budget, forcing the closure of local public schools in communities from North Van to Prince George and the gutting of vital aupport programs -- cuts that are directly linked to the failure of thousands of vulnerable kids -- students with autism, Aboriginal kids, inner city kids growing up in poverty, etc., etc. (all of which will cost the weary taxpayer far more in the long run.

I totally respect people's freedom to make private choices, but when did the taxpayer become liable for supporting those private personal choices and/or private enterprises?

So if I prefer to send my mail by Fedex instead of Canada Post, to work out in a private club instead of the local community centre, or to buy a condo instead of applying for social housing, I should expect BC taxpayers to subsidise those choices too?

dawn steele you sould like you are in bed with the BCTF who are the most militant union in BC. This union can not even manage to fairly disipline union teachers who should not be in the classroom. Independenent schools for your information only get a small part their funding from the public purse and the rest is from the parents.

Private schools do not take everyone who comes to the door. As a headmaster once told me, "We have no discipline issues. Those kids have another option, the public school." They do not offer all the programs and services offered at a public school. Yet they demand and get ever increasing amounts even for functions not included in their operation. There is an ever increasing amount of funding for them while bleeding the public schools, just to create an elite class of graduates who will always be good right-wing conservative members of society. Why every taxpayer should be forced to support this is beyond comprehension.

Not Moe, you should realize that it is not the BCTF that disciplines teachers. That is the responsibility of of administrators and school boards. If you are going to discuss this issue then please get your facts straight. dawn steele's point is that private schools should get NO taxpayer money from the government.

astro I DO KNOW that the BCTF have had their knuckles rapped for not being ethical when it comes to who can teach. I see zero reason in our democratic country with private schools getting tax dollars to educate our students.Private schools save the taxpayers money and do a better job than our money hungry BCTF. Take your rose coloured glasses off.

a) Pardon the double negative but I am not "Not Moe". Just wanted to clear that up in advance.

b) Folks it's time for school choice w/in a public system. One thing Premier-Designate(-Targets) Christy Clark promised was more school choice so parents can put their kid in the best school (SOURCE). As in w/o the "choice agenda", government becomes the parent.

After all there's some choice in health care, choice in transportation, choice in supermarkets, choice in media, et al. Why not advocate and compete sanely for quality?

The BC College of Teachers decides who can teach not the BCTF. Furthermore, I guess we need more schools like in Bountiful. Right?

The BCTF may have had their knuckles rapped, but it was not justified. That is like saying that a person robbed on the street deserved to be robbed. To call the BCTF money hungry is absurd. Most citizens cannot afford the private schools. They are very limited in their scope and will not teach students who do not pay their tuition. It is the Ministry of Education that determines what is to be taught in any event so it will always be a public system. Most private schools cater to egoists and parents with prejudice.
In the public system, you can attend any public school you wish so you have lots of choice!!!.

astro, w/ vouchers and or tax credits there will be more school choice. The problem is most school districts limit by where you live and won't let you enroll your kids in the best school w/in the district for your kid period.

I'd like to offer my perspective as a parent whose child currently attends an independent (private) school after switching out from a public school.

1) My husband and I are long-time BC residents, working parents, middle-income earners and homeowners. We are also taxpayers, of which income and property taxes are used to fund public schools and independent schools in this province that are required to follow the MoE's prescribed curriculum.

2) @dawnsteel "I'm quite sure I'm not the only taxpayer appalled at the thought of scarce tax dollars being diverted to subsidize the brainwashing of children by any religious group or private schools that exist to serve private interests." -- Perhaps you should do a little bit more homework before coming to this conclusion. Independent schools that have a religious component collect tuition fees from parents and use these funds for religious instruction as well as other programs outside of the MoE's prescribed curriculum (eg. Core French in grade 1 to 4). From what I understand, religious instruction is not funded by the public. The public funds that go towards these schools are used for programs within the MoE's prescribed curriculum.

re: "brainwashing" and "private interests" comment -- My daughter attends an independent school and I don't believe she is being brainwashed and that her school exists to serve private interests. I'm actually quite happy that her school does a lot of community work. For example: Her class baked and sold cupcakes to raise money for the SHARE Foodbank. Her school recently asked us to donate toiletries, blankets and clothes, and all these items were donated to shelters in the downtown eastside. From what I see, this independent school is teaching our daughter how to give back to the community. I never saw this type of community work when she attended our neighborhood public school.

3) @JosefK "Folks it's time for school choice w/in a public system." and "The problem is most school districts limit by where you live and won't let you enroll your kids in the best school w/in the district for your kid period." and @astro "In the public system, you can attend any public school you wish so you have lots of choice!!!." -- From my experience, there are choices within the school district but they are limited. The public schools in my district that have the most resources (ie. gifted programs, bigger libraries, montessori programs, etc.) are at capacity enrollment and will not take out-of-catchment students. I ran into this situation when I first had my daughter attend kindergarten in our neighborhood catchment school. Unfortunately, the school did not meet our expectations -- our daughter was bored and the school sadly lacked many resources. After addressing my concerns to the school principal, who unfortunately agreed with me on my points but offered no concrete solutions except that I had a choice to switch out, I decided to it was time to move to a different school. After researching other schools in my area (public and independent), it was the independent school that had the space and was able to accommodate my child. We have to pay tuition fees, but that's the price we pay in order for our child to get a better education. We are not wealthy, just the average middle-income, tax-paying family living in BC.

4) @astro "Most private schools cater to egoists and parents with prejudice" and @Hal "...just to create an elite class of graduates who will always be good right-wing conservative members of society" -- If you give yourself a chance to meet some of these families, you might be pleasantly surprised that many of these parents, students and graduates are quite open-minded and moderate in their thinking.

eacz, great comment. I wish you and your family all the best.

Hopefully Premier Clark will read this comment and take action.

Leave a comment

Copyright © 2004 - Public Eye Mediaworks. Reproductions of any portion of this Website are permitted only with the expressed permission of Public Eye Mediaworks.
Canadian Web Hosting graciously provided by dotcanuck Web Services. Layout and graphics courtesy of Art Department Design.