At Year's End
Written by Léo & Faye Gaumont, published on 2014-06-16.
A heartfelt appeal to families registered with Education Unlimited to examine our hearts in light of a few rather unpleasant situations regarding "money".
Honesty is always the best approach, even when not appreciated by everyone. Sometimes things just have to be stated, even at the risk of offending those whose guilt causes them to object.
Bible Reference: Matt. 6:24
As we close the office for the season, I am compelled to share a summary of what we observed over the past year. All in all, it was a good year, with many opportunities to help and encourage families, first, within the Province Of Alberta through Education Unlimited and hopefully beyond its borders through our web site and this blog. However, as with anything in life, some negative things also occurred. Besides the constant concern for the few families that are tempted to follow the trend to complete secular programming and accreditation, the biggest disappointment this year had to be the fallout from a decision we were essentially forced to make regarding parent resources funding.
After resisting for ten years, we had to stop the indefinite carryover of parent resources funding five years ago, as it became impossible to manage. We then instituted a new carryover policy of one year which was a lot of work for us, but we did it as a service to our families. This year, as a consequence of retroactive changes enacted by the government, we found that any carryover of unused funds created a logistical nightmare for both our school and accountants, so we were forced to put an end to parent resources funding unused in one year being carried over into the following year. It was our sincere hope that everything would carry on as before, but our worst fears were realized once we announced the discontinuation of carryover. Even after clearly stipulating that any unused funds was not going into our personal pockets, nor was it returned to the government, but assumed by our school (to whom we are eternally grateful for the privilege of working with, since they are not in a compromising position), we initiated a "greed stampede" that we could not have imagined coming from our group of mostly dedicated Christians!
Funding paid to the school for the delivery of home education was suddenly "my money". By far the most frequently asked question asked of our office this spring was "how much money do I have left?". How money sent to our school suddenly became "the parents' money" is hard to imagine, unless one considers the insidious power money has over people. If this funding belonged to parents who could spend it as they wish, would not the government have sent the money directly to them? The truth is, perhaps the government knew that to do so would initiate the kind of thing we witnessed this year, so they send the money to the school rather than to the parents so the school could properly mange the funds on the parents' behalf. I must now admit that the government has probably acted with more wisdom than those parents who were so obsessed with spending "their money", that they were more than willing to sabotage relationships we have had with them, some for a very long time. When money becomes so important, we are willing to accuse, insult or abuse others, we have a serious problem that is bound to have long lasting negative consequences for home education in this province. But then again, maybe that is what the government had in mind when they made the money available in the first place! Throw a little money in the ring and watch the "Christians" destroy each other over it! Sad, but we can always count on the misinformed and the greedy to wreck it for the disciplined and principled. Perhaps there should not be any funding for home education. Maybe then, we could switch our efforts to more meaningful tasks, like modeling an eternal vision for our children, rather than focussing on the temporal.