Funding Cuts to Independent
I’m hearing from constituents that are quite upset with the NDP governments funding cut to independent online schools. This impacts thousands of families across British Columbia.
This is a political decision and not a financial one as every student enrolled in independent and online educations save the government and BC tax-payers thousands of dollars. I think of independent online schools like Heritage, Traditional Learning Academy, Regent, Self Design and others who provide top notch instruction and are highly regarded by families desiring a distributed learning model.
When I was a MLA, one of my portfolios was Parliamentary Secretary for Independent Schools.
I was deeply involved in helping to establish the rate for funding
of independent online learning.
For years, funding was 50% of what bricks and mortar public schools received based on the district they were located out of. In 2012, the ratio was changed to what public online schools received - 63%. The per student amount was virtually the same in either case but funding was protected.
Teachers are all BC certified and students all follow British Columbia’s curriculum.
This is a blow to British Columbia students, families, taxpayers and our education system - which is both public and independent.
By profession, while I was a public-school teacher, I continue to support choice in education. I know many families in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge who have or have had their children enrolled in independent online schools - people like Capri Rietal mentioned in this Vancouver Sun article.
I have been very impressed with children enrolled in independent online schools both as an educator and as a local politician.
If you want to be heard, I encourage online and independent school supporters to contact their local MLA and the Minister of Education because only a very strong voice on this issue can make a difference.
Serving you in our community,
Marc Dalton MP
Pitt Meadows/Maple Ridge