9. WOW, SOME AT THE VSB MAY WISH KIDS WOULD LEAVE PUBLIC SCHOOLS (April 13, 2016)

From: Julee Kaye
Sent: April-13-16 5:09 PM
To: ‘educ.minister@gov.bc.ca’; ‘mike.lombardi@vsb.bc.ca’;
‘allan.wong@vsb.bc.ca’; ‘Janet.fraser@vsb.bc.ca’;
‘fraser.ballantyne@vsb.bc.ca’; ‘christopher.richardson@vsb.bc.ca’;
‘patti.bacchus@vsb.bc.ca’; ‘joy.alexander@vsb.bc.ca’;
‘penny.noble@vsb.bc.ca’; ‘stacy.robertson@vsb.bc.ca’;
‘david.eby.MLA@leg.bc.ca’; ‘andrew.wilkinson.MLA@leg.bc.ca’;
‘communications@vsb.bc.ca’; ‘nbrennan@vsb.bc.ca’; ‘jpearce@vsb.bc.ca’;
‘jstewart@vsb.bc.ca’

Subject: 9. WOW, SOME AT THE VSB MAY WISH KIDS WOULD LEAVE PUBLIC SCHOOLS

To VSB’s trustees & Superintendents, our Minister of Education, and my local
MLAs:

Wow. Until today, I had honestly overlooked the possibility that anyone at
the VSB might actually wish there were fewer kids in the public school
system and thus perceive a fiscal benefit to making public schools less
attractive.

Of course I see that it is cheaper to ‘the province’ to educate kids in
private schools, because these kids receive a lower rate of funding. Cheaper
that is only if you don’t include private school parents in your accounting
of the total costs borne by taxpayers – it obviously costs those parents
more. But is it really cheaper over the lifetime of all taxpayers
collectively? No, it is not!!

Let’s consider how things would look if all kids were in user-pay private
schools. In total, educating them all to current standards would have to
cost more than now because of the need to pay for profit to the free-market
schools. There would also be increased inefficiencies from having an
increased number of educational service providers. Presumably these costs
could be partly offset by lowering the standards for the poorly funded
schools attended by the poorest children.

Regardless, the only people who could be sure of paying less for education
over their entire lifetime than currently would be people who never had kids
(after the time at which the private system was implemented). Everyone else
would collectively be paying the higher costs that included profits for the
educational corporations (and paying all those costs while they have young
families and thus are likely earlier in their careers as well).

Even the childless people would pay a cost under this system – everyone
would suffer the cost of sharing the province with a less skilled workforce,
reduced economic development, more class disparity, and more resentful
service providers. It would look less like a fiscally prudent Utopia and
more like a return to the miserable class structure illustrated in Oliver
Twist.

In fact, it would be quite analogous to the difference between the US and
Canada in health care. The US pays more per person for health care while
achieving worse health outcomes, because so much of their spending is routed
to corporate profit, advertising, and legal expenses.

Please, everyone, abandon any mistaken belief that convincing families to
switch to private schools would reduce the overall lifetime costs to
taxpayers. It would not.

As a group, BC taxpayers must cover the costs of education one way or
another, whether they do so through taxes or through private school fees. By
far the happiest AND MOST ECONOMICAL outcome will be obtained if our public
schools can be managed so as to be an attractive option for all families.

Julee Kaye
(Even More Concerned Parent from QEA, JQ, General Gordon, Kerrisdale,
Kitsilano & soon Point Grey)