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- Léo’s Insights 2018-2019 Academic Year
Money! More money! Always more money!
An article I recently read about the pandemic school closures said, “Stakeholders have said schools will need more support than ever as the pandemic continues to take hold into the next academic year”. Who are these “stakeholders” and what is meant by more support?
A few lines later we get some clarification with, “Fewer students are attending, because fewer students feel safe. And the reason schools are not safe is because they are underfunded.”
Ah! Now we get the picture! Students do not feel safe because schools are underfunded! It takes quite a leap in pretzel-type logic to get one’s head around such a ridiculous statement. What student has even a modicum of understanding about school funding and finances? I doubt one could name a single student even interested in or questioning such things.
Can you imagine a student making a claim of feeling unsafe because his/her school is underfunded? While I have heard nearly every reason for students feeling unsafe at school, I have never, ever heard a student expressing a lack of funding as the cause of his/her distress. Something is truly amiss here.
So if the level of funding, or more appropriately the lack of funding is the cause of students feeling unsafe, maybe the real problem isn’t the funding, but the dehumanizing of students by monetizing them into the currency that keeps the educational industry afloat. Do you believe the individual making such a ridiculous statement would actually have the children’s best interests at heart? I doubt it.
The problem of seeing students as currency was the main reason I chose to home educate my own children back in the late 1980’s. As part of the pioneering home education community, I found it refreshing to see that children were seen as having an intrinsic human value by their parents. This was not in itself something new, as most parents always had this attitude regarding their children. It was just that the schools of that day didn’t care whether the children attended school or not, as they were fully paid for home educating students either way and they were not required to give home educating parents any financial assistance.
Alas, as the home education community grew, rules were challenged and changed resulting in the same problem of monetizing home educating students like every other student in the province. The government cannot be directly blamed for this monetization. Schools and home education providers are to blame. The government may be guilty of putting a price on each student’s head through a funding grant, but it is the schools vying for more of that money that ultimately creates a student currency.
There are three ways schools can increase their funding: Schools can get more students, find some kind of learning disorder for which extra funding can be obtained, and once that has been maximized, lobby for more extra funding per student. Hence, this absurdly disconnected statement connecting the COVID pandemic with students feeling unsafe due to a lack of funding. Would you be so silly as to put your children under the care of such “intelligence”?
I would love to leave things with this question, but one more issue has to be raised. I know this article was particularly focused on the funding of public and separate schools, but the truth is private schools are generally no different. It is even more disheartening when private schools make claims to having a Christian foundation yet view their student count as a multiplication of the expected grant. Is there a “Christian” monetization of students, or is it just avarice at work throughout the entire education system?
Maybe we should ask the students. After all, if they can feel unsafe due to a lack of funding, maybe they can shed some light on how most schools view them!
Thank God for the freedom to educate children at home where their value is not only immeasurable, but eternal.