Public Funds for Public Education

The bedrock for developing a respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms is universal public education.

However, since 1977, successive governments in British Columbia have sought to create a two-tiered education system through a public subsidy to independent schools. A majority of these schools are faith based, while others charge prohibitive tuitions. These barriers segregate society along sectarian and socio-economic lines. Further, the Government has a duty to protect the rights of children, recognized under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, in religious independent schools. Humanists have also welcomed innovative and experimental forms of education.

Under our call for an end to public funding of independent schools, the British Columbia Humanist Association:

  • Supports the principle of public funds for public education;
  • Opposes public funding going to faith-based education;
  • Joins calls for the phase out of public funding to all independent schools;
  • Supports greater innovation within the public education system; and
  • Calls on the Government of BC to ensure:
    • the religious neutrality of the Office of the Inspector of Independent
      Schools,
    • all independent schools meet comparable curriculum standards as public
      schools and
    • students in independent schools are free from discrimination and their
      freedoms of religion and expression are protected.

Do you support our work? Donate to the Public Funds for Public Education campaign.

Join our call for public funds for public education


Latest news


WTF (Weird, That's Funded?): The bizarre

While they receive hundreds of millions of dollars in public funding, private schools in BC are excluding LGBTQ2S+ parents, families and staff; teaching creationism and even banning Halloween and school dances, according to our latest analysis. In the first part of our three-part series, we looked at schools teaching creationism in science...

WTF (Weird, That's Funded?): Homophobia

While they receive hundreds of millions of dollars in public funding, private schools in BC are excluding LGBTQ2S+ parents, families and staff; teaching creationism and even banning Halloween and school dances, according to our latest analysis. In the first part, we looked at schools teaching creationism in science classrooms. In this...

WTF (Weird, That's Funded?): Creationism

While they receive hundreds of millions of dollars in public funding, private schools in BC are excluding LGBTQ2S+ parents, families and staff, teaching creationism and even banning Halloween and school dances, according to our latest analysis. In this first part of our three-part series, we look at schools where the teaching...

Toward an inclusive society: BCHA makes Budget 2022 submissions

In its response to the province's Budget 2022 consultation, the BCHA is calling on the Government of BC to end the funding of private schools and property tax exemptions for places of worship 

Private school funding increases outpace inflation

Despite the change in government in 2017, the handout of public funds to private schools has neither decreased nor even slowed down. Since the BC NDP formed government in 2017, funding increases for private schools have outpaced inflation every year. Further, the total growth in funding for private schools has...

Follow the money: BC's private school giveaway benefits wealthy and religious families

A new analysis from the BC Humanist Association shows that nearly three of every four dollars of the over $400 million that the province gives to private schools goes to religious schools; nearly all which are Christian or Catholic. And of the 19.6% of the funding ($83.6 million) that goes...

BCHA reacts to 2021 provincial and federal budgets

Yesterday the Government of Canada released its 2021 budget and today the Government of BC released its budget. The BC Humanist Association is celebrating investments in childcare, reconciliation and efforts to combat systemic racism.

Secular home and online school options for BC parents

As the Government of British Columbia rolls out its Education Restart Plan, some students and parents are considering their own options for their return to school in September. A popular option is some form of homeschooling. Parents in BC have three main options for homeschooling their children: Enrolling in a...

Pass or Fail? Comparing the performance of private and public school graduates in post-secondary education

Executive Summary Proponents of British Columbia’s (BC) private education funding model have claimed that private schools provide students with an academic advantage over their public school peers. By comparing the performance of graduates of BC private and public schools at the University of British Columbia (UBC), we can test this...

Reduction in funding for online private schools a step in the right direction

The BC Humanist Association is applauding a step by the Ministry of Education to reduce public support for online private schooling. The Government of BC funds in-person private schools up to 50% of the per-student amount of neighbouring public schools; however, online distributed learning (DL) programs run by private schools...

See more Public Education posts.



Created with NationBuilder Creative Commons License