August 17 2016 – Tory Media – Derek J. Allison – Public funding for private schools continues to be a hot topic in Alberta. As argued in a recent Edmonton Journal opinion piece, some want to eliminate all financial support for private schools. But what are the facts?
Less than 4% of Alberta’s school students attend private schools benefiting from public support. Given that this support amounts to 60% to 70% of the basic per pupil operating grants to public schools – the total amount that could be re-directed from private to public schools is minimal. According to a statement from the education minister’s press secretary, Alberta’s 94 financially aided private schools received $151 million in grants this year. In comparison, financial statements from Alberta Education show that $7,228,040,463 was spent on public, separate, Francophone, and charter schools in 2015. That’s $7.2 billion with a big fat ‘B’ Public spending on private schools is a modest drop in a gargantuan bucket.