Who decides how much to spend on public schools?

Thing aren’t looking so good over at the Vancouver school board.

It’s a story that it’s been told many times over.  The Ministry of Education tells a board how much they can spend while the board tells the Ministry how much they need to spend.  Who wins?  Put your money on the Ministry every time.  They will send in a bean counter who, with no real interest or understanding of the needs of the schools, slash budgets and make cuts.  And then, “Hurray!  The budget will be balanced!”

Historically, schools (and then school boards) were locally run.  Taxes were raised locally and decisions were based on the specific and often unique needs of the area.  By having a province or state collect taxes for education certain leveled the playing field allowing rural regions to enjoy the same funding as urban and industrial ones.  Ministries also provided homogeneous standards ensuring that all students received education of a similar quality.  But somewhere along the line the important role of local boards to address the specific needs or local schools?  Surely the funding of an inner-city school in a metropolis is very different than the funding of a rural school.  In Ontario, the government has promised for years to fix the admittedly flawed funding formula.

In the meantime, I suggest holding bake sales.  That’s what schools have been doing for decades.  This recipe looks good:

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