Christy Clark appoints new advocate for private schools in B.C.

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      B.C. premier Christy Clark has named a new parliamentary secretary to the minister of education for independent schools (better known as private schools).

      Simon Gibson, the B.C. Liberal MLA for Abbotsford-Mission, takes over from Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Marc Dalton. The latter has left the government caucus to sit as an independent as he seeks the federal Conservative nomination in Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge.

      "Simon has been a strong representative for the people of Abbotsford-Mission, and his abilities will be put to good use in this new role," Clark stated in a news release. "I'm pleased to have him joining our excellent team of parliamentary secretaries, advocating for independent schools throughout B.C."

      Private schools in B.C. received almost $315 million in provincial funding for the 2013-14 academic year. That's up from $295 million in 2012-13 and $251 million in 2009-10.

      Bricks and mortar operating grants comprised $257 million of the 2013-14 total. The remaining $57 million were special purpose grants.

      There are now 350 private schools across the province. For 2014-15, these schools registered 80,783 students. (Public schools serve 552,788 students.)

      Clark's semifamous son, Hamish Marissen-Clark, attends the private St. George's School in Vancouver.

      For day students, the annual fees for that school are $19,785 for grades 1 to 7 and $22,115 for grades 8 to 12. Fees are higher for boarding and international students. (An international boarding student pays $58,275 per year for grades 8 to 12.)

      The St. George's website helpfully outlines three payment plans for parents.




      Feb 18, 2015 at 10:57am

      What an complete waste more of taxpayer money......seriously, even a hard-core Liberal lapdog cannot in all honesty try to justify this one!
      Not to mention private schools receiving funding? Clark is a complete failure when it comes to education, she unabashedly favours private schools and does her best to show her scorn for public education. Our Premier with no degree and many " courses" at several universities, I guess it's no wonder.

      Calm down Cathy

      Feb 18, 2015 at 12:26pm


      Calm down Cathy and wipe the spittle off your lip.
      EVERY child in BC is entitled to funding, no matter what the school its parents choose to educate their offspring. HOwever, what's left out of the article is that those children whose parents choose private school, recieve half the per student government funding as does a public school student, notwithstanding that the parents pay the same school taxes as anyone else.

      In some people's minds, that means the parents of children who choose private school, are subsidizing the public school at their own children's expense.

      View from the Coast

      Feb 18, 2015 at 12:30pm

      WTF! Talk about a government that is there to serve the rich. Where is the advocate in cabinet for public schools? It certainly isn't the Education Minister looking at the budget just brought in. It was nauseating watching them clap like seals in the leg.

      View from the Coast

      Feb 18, 2015 at 12:43pm

      Calm down Cathy.
      You can't be serious. The BC Liberals have been tasked by their funders to drive as many people to private schools to get a quality education that is getting increasingly more difficult to provide in the public schools. This is about giving the educational advantage to children with wealthy parents.

      Chris Green

      Feb 18, 2015 at 1:23pm

      if people want to pass up fee-free education at public schools, they should pay the entire cost themselves. No public subsidy, no tax break on the tuition. This is nothing more than a giveaway of our tax dollars to subsidize people who want their children to be segregated from secular society.

      More on the Way!

      Feb 18, 2015 at 1:23pm

      Advocate for Consular Parking
      Advocate for Creme de la Creme
      Advocate for 'tox 'n filler
      Advocate for Class-Based Red Lights
      Advocate for the LNG Fairy


      Feb 18, 2015 at 5:04pm

      Why appoint an advocate..there's already one in the Premier's office!

      Patty Holmes

      Feb 18, 2015 at 8:46pm

      What's really irksome is knowing my tax dollars pay her salary, which means it's my dollars paying her son's private school tuition. I don' know why I should have to pay that for her.

      Grow a conscience

      Feb 18, 2015 at 8:48pm

      It should be our moral imperative to advocate for those who are unable to advocate for themselves.

      Use logic!

      Feb 18, 2015 at 9:46pm

      I agree with Chris Green. It's pretty simple. Public tax dollars are for public services. Private (independent) schools are NOT public institutions. If parents want to opt out of the public system the full cost should be paid for by the parents. Anything less makes absolutely no sense!