LETTER: Tax dollars should only be used for public purposes

Re: Independents do not draw money from public schools, says minister, Nov. 29 edition.

Re: Independents do not draw money from public schools, says minister, Nov. 29 edition.

I did a double take and re-read several times Minister of Education Peter Fassbender’s comment, “What was reinforced is, when you have a school like this, where parents make the choice to come to an independent school, there is a higher degree of commitment to that journey for the kids, so that’s a good thing. But I see a lot of that in public schools too. And I don’t compare one to the other.”

I find that comment incredibly offensive. Mr. Fassbender, are you implying that parents who send their children to public schools do not have as high a degree of commitment to their child’s educational journey? Or that teachers in the public school system are not as committed as teachers in independent schools? And how can you state that you do not compare the two? You just did in the same breath.

How can you state that the 35-50 per cent funding independent schools receive does not draw resources from the public school system? Of course it does. This funding would otherwise be infused into the public school system where it belongs.

MEI is an independent school, a school of choice, although not truly a choice for a lot of families, and I frankly do not want my tax dollars supporting a tiered educational system. If you choose to send your child to an independent school, then pay for it… fully.

Tax dollars are meant to support public programs, institutions, roadways, and such, not independent or private infrastructure. It’s tantamount to B.C. MSP deciding to subsidize private surgery, tests, and treatments for those who can afford to have that choice.

Maureen Norton

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