Private school funding justified

I note your editorial of Wednesday, 9 May, 2007, on the matter of Government assisting private schools with funding.

This was an initiative started by the National Team Government in the 90s because it was the right thing to do.

Today, as far as I know, most private schools could do with more assistance, a matter I raised in the Assembly on Monday during my debate on the Budget.

I said, and it’s true, that some private schools are better off than others but that should not be a reason for the Government not to give an increase to those schools that need it today. All of the schools try to finance their short-fall by various means.

What your editorial needs to understand is that per capita the private schools can educate a child at less cost than the Government. In the present budget it costs $50,000 for 5,100 students in Government schools, which means it cost $10,000 per year per child for public education.

Also in the present Budget the grant for public schools is $900,000. There are 2,200 children in the private school. This equated to a grant of $409 per year per student in the private school. Even if some private schools charge more than others, the vast majority of the private schools only cost about 50 per cent of what the public schools cost.

It holds true then, if Government had to fund the same student in the public school system it would cost the country a whole lot more – a good reason to give the private school the assistance that they need now. I certainly did not seek assistance for any school that do not need it.

The Government is spending millions on consultants and travelling expense by ministers and their cohorts (just to name two areas of extravagance).

The Government shouldn’t be hard-pressed to give the assistance needed by the private schools nor should any entity try to butter up the matter for the Government.

W. McKeeva Bush – Leader of the Opposition

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