How does the Education Budget discriminate against Home Education in Alberta?

Updated: Oct 15

Let's get started:


In Alberta, every Public School student costs taxpayers an average $16,000 per year.

Every Home School student, who chooses to use their funding amount, with proof of purchase, costs taxpayers only $1,700 per year.

NOTE: Public Education is currently 9.5 times more expensive to all taxpayers than Home Education.

The BASE INSTRUCTION RATE for Early Childhood Services (ECS)-Kindergarten (per funded child and per year) is $3,032.00 in Public Education and $0.00 in Home Education.


The BASE INSTRUCTION RATE for Grades 1-9 (per funded child and per year) is $6, 064.00 in Public Education and $1, 700.00 in Home Education (per funded child and per year). NOTE: half of this $1, 700.00 amount must remain with the Home Education Affiliation, so parents only receive a maximum of $850.00 for funding.


The BASE INSTRUCTION RATE for Grades 10-12 (per funded child and per year) is $6,670.40 in Public Education and again only $1, 700.00 in Home Education (per funded child and per year). NOTE: again half of this $1, 700.00 amount must remain with the Home Education Affiliation, so parents only receive a maximum of $850.00 for funding.


Notice the great inequality of funding:

#1. There is no funding for Home Education for Kindergarten

#2. The dollar amount for Grades 10-12 increase for Public Education by at least $600.00 but not for Home Education

#3. Public Education receives 3.8 times more funding than Home Education


Notice the term BASE INSTRUCTION RATE listed above; this 'base instruction rate' accounts for a teacher's salary and any curriculum expenses that may arise and has nothing to do with the cost of transportation or the cost of maintenance to the 'brick and mortar' school. So why then is the ratio for Base Instruction so unequal as we compare Public Education to Home Education?


To begin, I would like to firstly address that Public Teachers have allowances to further their education through yearly conventions and conferences that are paid for, so why don't Home Educators have the same allowances and equal treatment? I would like to see a change regarding this inequality in the Alberta Education budget because if parents would like to higher their education and take online courses or attend conferences and/or seminars to better equip themselves to teach at home then they should be eligible for at least a 50% reimbursement from Alberta Education through an incentive grant.


Let's not forget that parents who are Home Educators need to teach a different grade level EVERY SINGLE YEAR which means they have to prepare new curriculum's and teaching plans EVERY SINGLE YEAR. They cannot just reuse the same grade level course material over and over again like Public Teachers do, who teach the same grade level for years. This is a lot of extra work for Home Educators especially when they are not receiving a single nickel of wage earnings. So let's say "thank you" to them by creating this incentive grant.


Books, field trips, food, lessons, tablets, computers, paper, craft supplies, pens and pencils, printers, curriculum material, musical instruments, educational toys, science experiments, phys.ed equipment, extra-curricular activities, etc. are all some costs involved with Home Education and is $850.00 really enough to cover these costs and other additional costs? No, definitely not! By the time you buy a decent laptop with a decent printer you are looking at paying upwards of $2000.00 and I haven't even factored in the cost of curriculum books and stationary supplies, extra-curricular activities, etc.


With more funding there will be more freedom to go on educational field trips.


With more funding there needs to be a change to the reimbursements costs and allowances especially pertaining to the category of furniture: desks, chairs, playground equipment, etc.


And costs like property taxes, water, waste, electricity, heat/gas, telephone services (fax) need to be allowable of up to 50% reimbursable to the Home Educator/Parent (as the cost of internet is currently)because

children cannot be expected to learn out of a cardboard box right?

Besides in a 'brick and mortar' school all these expenses are accounted for and paid off in FULL by tax payers and take up a VERY large portion of the Education funding in Alberta. Why the discrimination towards Home Education?


Additionally, Home Education has NO extra funding for students with special needs which is unacceptable! This needs to change. The Alberta government must make this change by allowing Home Educators the same access to all of the Special Need grants as Public Educators have. Home School students deserve the same access to funding as Public School students with special needs.


Home Education also has NO extra funding for students that would like to learn a second language or who use English as their second language, this too is unacceptable and needs to change! The Alberta government again must make this change by allowing Home Educators the same access to all of the Grants readily available to Public Educators. Equality is a must in our Education budget!


Where do we begin? And how do we make all these changes?


Simple!

Increase the funding for Home Education and make it equal to the Public Education Base Funding Rates-listed above.


Where will all this extra money come from?


Simple!

With an increase of funding to Home Education, more parents and more children will want to home educate, especially after this COVID-19 pandemic, therefore lowering the demand to pay for Public Education and therefore freeing up more funds in the budget.

For example: each funded Public School student costs an average total of $16, 000.00 per year (2020-2021) and each funded Home School student costs an average of $6, 500.00 (with the new proposed higher funding changes).

So hypothetically speaking, lets say 1000 students out of a total of over 700, 000 students in Alberta, changed to Home Education instead of public education, this change alone would

save the Education budget $9.5 million

(Remember this calculation uses the new proposed higher funding amount for Home Education.)


{Note: The current Home Education funding is only $1, 700.00 and only up to $850.00 goes to the Home Educator}


WOW! Did you catch how much money we would be saving by raising the funding for Home Education to $6, 500.00 per student with only a change of 1000 students choosing Home Education, $9.5 million !!!



SO..... why have we not seen this increase in Home Education funding?


Well to be honest not enough people are standing up for it and pushing the government to make these funding changes to the budget.


We need to stand firm on what is best for Albertan students and what is best for Albertan students is Home Education!


Let us learn from this COVID-19 pandemic and realize that 'brick and mortar' schools are non-essential but Home Education IS ESSENTIAL.

Let's fight for EQUALITY for Alberta Home Education students and educators and change the budget.




*For more information about how important the relationship is between a child and their parent(s) please read the book called "Hold onto Your Kids- Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers" by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate)



(Funding information was taken from the 2020/2021 'Funding Manual for School Authorities' listed on the Alberta Government website)


Write to the Minister of Education via email education.minister@gov.ab.ca about increasing funding and sign my petition.


More FUNDING for Home Education

equals

More FREEDOM to Home Educate!

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