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Milke and Van Pelt: Why private schools should receive equal funding

In the Calgary Herald, Cardus senior fellow Deani Van Pelt and Mark Milke argued that private schools should receive public funding in response to MLA Kent Hehr's assertion that "there is no need to subsidize elitist education for the wealthy, religious schooling for myriad different belief systems, or any other reason."

Write Milke and Van Pelt:

The concern over faith is misplaced. The point of a free society is to ensure diverse viewpoints are protected and encouraged—even when others disagree, especially in the education system, lest stultifying non-critical thinking become the norm.
Hehr is also wrong on the facts. He fails to consider the research evidence that non-government schools provide solid, and in some cases exemplary, academic, social and cultural results for individuals and for society.
A 2013 OECD analysis of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) math performance scores found that Canadian 15-year-olds from private schools significantly outperformed their peers from public schools. This was true even after controlling for economic, social and cultural status.
A 2012 study by Cardus compared graduate outcomes for Canadian adults from different school systems—public, separate Catholic, and various independent school systems. The findings were clear. Graduates from independent schools are significantly more likely than their peers to contribute to civic society—to vote, volunteer, and donate (all again, after controlling for a variety of socio-economic factors that might otherwise explain the differences).

The articles were published following a debate between Hehr and Cardus executive vice-president Ray Pennings last month. You can watch video highlights of the debate here.

Also, please find the full text of Milke and Van Pelt's article here.

Linked to Cardus' Education research project.

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