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Letter: Private School funding not out of whack

Dear editor,

Dear editor,

Elon Musk’s private jet and security detail have no relevance on the topic of private and public-school funding, to respond to the previous article submitted on May 17,2023, by Jonathan Teghtmeyer. We would have to argue that if Elon Musk were to apply to be subsidized for his private expenses it would be in excess of approximately 1000x the amount he contributes to his public roadways through his taxes. The funding that charter and independent schools receive is only 70 per cent of what is contributed to the public system in order to educate Albertan children per year. The amount a dual income family with two children pays towards education per year also has no relevance on the topic of private and public education funding, due to the fact that in Canada we pay taxes from age 18 till death (60 years +-), not just for the 13 years that our children are in school. So, the tax values listed in the article we are responding to have no merit.

If Jonathan Teghtmeyer, who is the executive staff officer and associate coordinator of communications for the ATA would like to see full and fair utilization of educational tax monies then he should be pushing for equal compensation for independent/charter and public schools, so that all kids have an equal chance of educational success, that is if the child’s education is the issue at hand. When it comes to the physical construction, maintenance and upgrades to independent and charter schools, this cost is solely paid for by the society members, parents and grandparents of the students that attend, and none of this expense is expected through the educational grant.

If all independent/charter school children were to join the public system next year at the current funding rates, it would cost AB tax payers roughly $350,000,000 (yes that’s 350 million) per year in additional operating costs. Also, Alberta tax payers and the government would have to come up with a way to set up $2,450,000,000 (yes 2.45 billion) in additional infrastructure to be able to accommodate the growth as our current public system is already bursting at the seams.

We would like to take this time to thank our current provincial government for understanding this and seeing the savings that taxpayers are receiving through the current arrangement. We also recognize, appreciate and are thankful for all the support (both past and present) of our local community here in Ponoka.

- Greg Thalen

Treasurer, Ponoka Christian School Board