Monday, December 21, 2009

Stop the train before the wreck

We mandate that all children must be educated. I do not understand why schools spend the money they spend on marketing a mandated service. If you are Catholic you are legislated to pay your taxes to the Catholic school division and may send your children to a Catholic school. If you are non-Catholic you must pay your taxes to the public school division and they must accept all students. It is, or was, a simple concept.

In an age when dollars are short all way round, why do school divisions compete for students? Education is about one generation preparing a future generation to sustain society. Yet we have school divisions competing for students and using our tax dollars for that purpose. And then they ask for more money for education. Although it may appear that the money spent is a small fraction of the over all budget (SP 12/19/09) what else could the public system spend $215,000.00 dollars on or the Catholic system $87,000.00?

We now have created the options of public schools, Catholic schools, francophone schools, associate schools, private schools and home schools. Each want what the other has and exhibit an entitlement to tax dollars to finance their wants.

All the public-at-large wants is an educated community. Who is engineering this train and where is it going? Put education back on track!


  1. In many ways, I'm on board with CivicMistress.

    This is evidence of society complaining that public services are lumbering dinosaurs.

    As we advocate for governments to follow "free-market" models, they invariably move into "free-market" practice. One of those practices is to market and sell their services, to differentiate their product.

    Marketing budgets for public and private schools in the United States have went through the roof as a result of turning education into a quasi-market, as schools vigorously compete for students.

    This is sadly only a hint of what is to come if we continue to allow the neoliberal free market to influence public education.

    We complain when we see the logical results of pushing towards "free-market" practice in education. I would suggest we consider what services should remain essentially public and ask they be governed and preserved as such.

  2. So if Public Education is to truly considered a Public entity, shouldn't the Provincial Auditor have something to say about how this money is being wasted? I never have supported the idea of marketing vs information but there is a fine line. I akin both divisions advertising full day kindergarten and school registrations to reminding you to buy your drivers license, it is your responsibility to do so. As a parent I should be contacting the school division about when to register not the other way around. And for either division to say it isn't marketing give it a break. Can't believe the teachers associations aren't all over this one. But then again serving 2 masters is never a good thing.


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