Should public dollars be used to fund private schools?


February 5, 2013 :: Kent Hehr
Moderated by Lisa Lambert

SACPA and the Lethbridge Public Library present a special evening session of the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs on Tuesday Feb 5, 2013 from 7-9pm


MLA for Calgary-Buffalo Kent Hehr presented a Private Member’s Bill in November 2012 that called on the Alberta government to eliminate public funding for private schools. Alberta is one of only five provinces that subsidizes private students. Furthermore, Alberta provides 70% funding to private schools, the richest subsidy to private schools in the country. Hehr has said that the $130 million set aside to support private schools in the 2012-13 budget is desperately needed in the public school system to implement programs like full day kindergarten and a school lunch initiative.

Defendants of private schools have argued that private schools offer educational choices not available in the public system but Hehr counters that he is not calling for an abolition of private schools but the public funding for them: "I believe our public school system is an excellent place for kids to learn," he said. "If people do not want to take part in the public school system, that is their right. But it's not a corresponding right for the taxpayers to fund that choice for a religious or cultural option."

Speaker: Kent Hehr

Kent Hehr has served as MLA for Calgary-Buffalo since 2008. Born and educated in Calgary, Kent Hehr is a proud Albertan with many ties to his hometown. He was named Graduate of the Decade by the University of Calgary Alumni Association. Before entering political life, Kent Hehr practiced law with the prestigious national law firm Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP.

Kent has served as Chairman of the Canadian Paraplegic Association (Alberta), Chairman of the City of Calgary Advisory Committee on Accessibility, Director of the Downtown West Community Association, board member for the Calgary Canucks Junior ‘A’ Alumni Society and member of the leaders committee of the United Way of Calgary.


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