How Ontario Legitimately Supports the Upper Class Having Better Education
With the recent call from parents who hold their faith tightly and their children tighter for warning of lesson plans that may contradict with their religious beliefs, the topic of private school and public school funding begs the question ‘why can’t these people go to private schools?’ which leads one to look for answers on the internet, which leads ones to writing about their answers, which leads one to posting things on Tumblr.
Private school is actually shockingly affordable in Ontario when you compare it to other provinces. We have an entire catholic school board funded by the province alone, but we also give grants and reimbursements to families who send their kids to private schools.
Most parents choose private schools for religious reasons. The average earner of a family who sends their kids to private school is $120,000 annually. Not only do families who send their kids to private schools tend to be better educated and employed in higher positions, but are more likely to vote in elections and have the three times the rate of participation in political parties (9% private school parents. 3% public school system) then parents in the public school system.
During the years of the Harris government, $2.6 Billion dollars was cut from public schools but $300 million was added in grants for private schools. In 1991, the Ontario government introduced a tax credit that would allow up to $3,500 reimbursement per student in the public school system. That bursary is still in place but was made unnecessary by a clause in the 2007 budget that would cut a break for scholarships to private elementary and secondary schools. For example, if you had a $30,000 scholarship you used to pay $3,100 in tax to the government; in 2007 that bill was erased as public school scholarships became non-tax deductible.
There are also tax credits that are not designed for private schools that people still use to get deductions on private schools. Parents can use the child care credit, IC75-23 Tuition Fees and Charitable Donations Paid to Privately Supported Secular and Religious Schools.
If you want to talk about people misusing public money, lets talk about this. In public school you have to pay a $70 activity fee at the beginning of every year. My parents pay taxes and that $70, however small, is still non-tax deductible, but these parents who pay money for partial education for their kids, get full or partial deduction on the public dime. I’m not even talking about how tax credits for people in colleges and universities are lumped in with private non-post secondary schools. That means, if you’re in university or college and you are receiving a tax break for going to school because your family couldn’t afford it otherwise, a family who sends their kid to a private school will be getting the same tax credit and will continue to receive that credit when they reach post-secondary.
Lets talk about post secondary. No really. Lets talk about post secondary, because while there’s now a tax credit to reduce OSAP fees by 30% there were cuts to scholarships and post secondary funding.
And lets talk about how you’re going to pay off your OSAP debt. There are new recommendations which suggest year round courses to “make use of facilities year round”. The government also wants more online learning, and no it won’t be free, you just won’t get the experience of being able to ask your professor for help or ask questions in real time. There is certain things about learning in an environment where your face to face with your instructor that gets lost online.
That 30% tax deduction won’t reach those who need it most. You’ve been out of school for 4 years? sorry no deduction for you. Are you a graduate student? a part-time students? a students pursuing second degree because you can’t find a job with your first one. An international student? Do you come from a low income family? Have a learning disability? Do you want to go to College instead of university? Sorry no tax credit for you.
But maybe you do go to university/college. You struggled to get there, but you did it. You worked your ass off for scholarships and you deserve a future written by you and not written by legislators. But can you afford the textbooks? With that 30% tuition cut, 6 programs to help you pay for your textbooks were cut. In fact for every dollar that program saves, $1.20 are cut back from programs which would save more. Oops. The government forgot to tell you that didn’t they.
Did you qualify for a scholarship, only to find yourself turning to OSAP to cover the rest? If you apply for OSAP you become ineligible for any Ontario Tuition Grant. Your grant will be lost if you apply to OSAP. Oops, they forgot to tell you didn’t they.
Bursaries to students living in public housing and small rural community was eliminated this year as well. Oops, guess even if you did apply to OSAP any grant that would be canceled out by it may not have existed anyway.
In Quebec there were riots, when the mere proposal was made to take away funding. Here in Ontario, we have the highest tuition rates and we don’t make a sound when a measure that would make it impossible to have a summer job or measures which make it impossible to go to school if you’re already employed are proposed or even implemented.
We stay silent while too many students rack up debt they’ll never be able to pay back or are denied entrance to post secondary because they have to choose between well earned scholarships or OSAP debt, because they can’t use both. We are told from day one of high school that post-secondary is the end all be all, but once we get there we are trapped in debt and never allowed to take a break.
While kids in private schools have funding their whole lives, we’re told everything will be OK, but the standard of “OK” in the Ontario education system isn’t as high as it is in other provinces. No one threatens your scholarship if you can afford to go to university. No one denies you OSAP even though you’ll never pay off your debt. No one tells you about abusing the system; that’s something you learn over time, and you need the system most then you haven’t figured out how to abuse it, because the people who know how to abuse it are the people who complain about it most.
The people who complain about affirmative action are the people who have had affirmative action their whole lives. Their mommies and daddies made sure the principles knew to handle their children like angels while wearing kid gloves and walking on egg shells. Mommy and daddy drove them to school and never worried about affording bus tickets that month. Mommy and daddy had time to be to be involved, because they could afford days off and vacations.
When mommy and daddy sat down at the kitchen table and talked about big bad taxes, they were applying for tax credits that were intended for single mothers and people who’s kitchen table was stacked end to end with bills they were trying to figure how to pay.
You want to know why scholarships for those who live under the poverty line exists? It exists because people who make more money then the average person, abuse the system. It exits as an excuse for our underfunded public system so private school kids have something to bring up everytime you talk about your student debt. And those same private school kids who were using your tax refund before you even got a chance to apply.