Ralph Klein has gone and it is time to retire Ralph's World. Thanks to all of you who have supported this venture by contributing material and through your comments. It has been fun.

Should we get another blog underway? Let me know your thoughts by e-mailing me at johnnyslow@gmail.com.

John Slow
January 1, 2007

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Ralph's Education Policy is Only About Money 

Gary's posting "Education is the fuel for any economy" lays out a number of reasons why the Klein government wants to break the public education system in Alberta. In my way of thinking it really just boils down to money. Not just how much it costs but who pays for it. Here's Ralph's long range scenario, step by step.

  1. Reduce total cost of the public school system by laying off teachers, reducing money for school maintenance and by slowing funding for new schools. This creates overworked teachers, under-stimulated students, all brought together in crumbling, overcrowded facilities. This is bad. This is the phase we are in now.

  2. Use money saved in (1) above to reduce personal income tax. This is excellent for the well-heeled because they get lots of $$ back. It is so-so for most of us because we just get a few $$ back. It is useless for the poor because they get nothing back.

  3. Solve the now dismal education problem by encouraging private charter schools. The well-heeled can spend a portion of their big tax break they got in (2), send their kids to a private school, and have money left over. Good for the well-off and Ralph is a hero.
    Most of us will have a decision to make. Take the small tax break we got in (2), transfer some extra over from the food or vacation budget, and send our kids to private school - or - keep our kids in the eroding public system because we can't afford the private system. This is bad for the middle class but Ralph will call it good because it offers "choice".
    The poor get their usual - zippo.

So who pays. Well, the total cost of education, both private and public goes up as new private schools are built and staffed. The big tax break the well-off get pays for their kids private school so they don't pay. The poor don't pay because they can't. Guess who's left? Guess who pays?

Welcome to two-tier education - brought to you by Ralph's World.

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