Vancouverites are paying more than enough to keep their public schools open, but the Clark government is redirecting the money to private schools.
In 2015, Vancouver taxpayers gave the province more than half a billion dollars to fund public schools for the year. As part of the property tax, homeowners pay a “school tax levy” fill provincial education coffers. Because of Vancouver’s soaring real estate prices, the city paid $519 million in 2015 — but got only $440 million back to pay for public schools.
Vancouver School Board (VSB) faces a $24 million budget shortfall this year (its 11th shortfall in a row). The problem isn’t limited to Vancouver: cuts totalling more than $81 million are affecting schools in 28 districts across the province, including Kamloops, Abbotsford, Surrey, Prince Rupert and Prince George.
At the same time, private and independent schools received $341 million in public funding this year, up from $311 million in public funding from 2014 to 2015. Clark sends her own son to the prestigious St. George’s School, a private establishment in Vancouver, which charges upwards $20,000 a year in tuition for residents and $30,860 for international students.