Direct school funding?

10 posts / 0 new
Last post
Machjo
Direct school funding?

What would you think of the idea that we pay a certain income tax earmarked specifically for schools, which we can also give to a school of our choice. Just like charitable contribtions, the school would give us a tax receipt. If we don't give to any school, we pay the tax of course. But if we do give to a school of our choice, the tax is deducted from our contribution. The school would have ot be a public school in the sense that it could not turn any applicant away, but it would not necessarily have to be a state school.

What would be your thoughts on this?

Fidel

I disagree. I think we'd end up like some US states with richer urbanites refusing to have their school taxes pay for the run-down inner city schools where poorer kids attend. In fact, we have a taste of that situation in Ontario now with higher income neighborhoods more able to raise pass-the-hat funding for their local schools than less well off neighborhoods. Our equal funding formula for public schools is not so equitable in Ontario, and that's the problem. They're trying to soften people up for the eventual privatization. Globalization and deregulation(GATS) will eventually threaten public education and health care across Canada and is partly why the feds and provinces chronically underfund these basic public services.

Machjo

Fidel wrote:

I disagree. I think we'd end up like some US states with richer urbanites refusing to have their school taxes pay for the run-down inner city schools where poorer kids attend. In fact, we have a taste of that situation in Ontario now with higher income neighborhoods more able to raise pass-the-hat funding for their local schools than less well off neighborhoods. Our equal funding formula for public schools is not so equitable in Ontario, and that's the problem. They're trying to soften people up for the eventual privatization. Globalization and deregulation(GATS) will eventually threaten public education and health care across Canada and is partly why the feds and provinces chronically underfund these basic public services.

But if the tax is set high enough, rich schools would end up with excess funding and so would likely pass it on to the local schools. All we have to do is ensure that the tax is high enough for that to happen. Add to that that many private religious schools would be part of a nationwide network, and so would gladly pass the excess funding along to other schools within the network. And poverty alleviation taxes and other measures could likewise be directing money in the poorer schools' direction.

Machjo

Perhaps I should link to this:

http://www.rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/your-thoughts-direct-tax-transfer

 

Similar topic, but broader. I think if it's done right, there would be more than enough money to go around. This could also stop the majority from highjacking the education agenda. For example, some FN communities might like to forcus more on their languages and native spirituality, something they can't do right now because all of our tax dollars in Ontario are going towards Cathloc schools whether we're Catholic or not.

Fidel

Many a slip between cup and lip. Our old line party governments dont want equitable funding for public schools. It's for a reason. And the welfare of FNs is probably the last thing on their minds.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Your proposal is essentially for a [url=Voucher">http://www.wsws.org/articles/1999/sep1999/educ-s30.shtml][=mediumbl... system[/][/url].

This system is advocated by reactionary political groups in the US and Canada as a way of defunding, weakening, and ultimately destroying the public school system.  

Machjo

M. Spector wrote:

Your proposal is essentially for a [url=Voucher">http://www.wsws.org/articles/1999/sep1999/educ-s30.shtml][=mediumbl... system[/][/url].

This system is advocated by reactionary political groups in the US and Canada as a way of defunding, weakening, and ultimately destroying the public school system.  

What I was proposing was not a vouvher system. A voucher system requires our tax money to be syphoned through government beraucracy before it's devied up and then given to parents as vouchers.

What I was proposing was that we introduce a personal education income tax that would be 100% deductible at a 1-1 ratio through direct contributions to a school of your choice. This would have no relation to educational use, but rather with civic responsibility. Any school that chooses to register for the right to grant tax receipts for this funding would have to accept any child regardless of whether the partns gave money to the school or not. What school you give your money to and what school your child attends would be totally unrelated theoretically. Of course parents would tend to give to the school their children would attend, but I'm just ephasizing that in principle they would be two different things. Also, it would not matter whether your children are attending school or not, or even if you have children. All workers would have to pay this tax. This would be an alternative taxation system for schools, and not a voucher system.

Also, you make a false assumption that such systems necessarily go hand in hand with tax cuts. Who says that must be so? We could introduce such systems and tax increases at the same time. You're making a false assumption there.

Unionist

I like the "earmark" concept.

I think all our taxes should be "earmarked".

For example, if I believe that the three-block radius around my home is in desperate need of repair, I should be allowed to earmark all my municipal and provincial taxes for that.

Naturally, until the repairs were complete, I would have to pay for my own health care and education, but that would be my personal choice.

As for federal income tax, I would like to earmark it all for rehabilitation and retraining (and refuge) for Canadian troops deserting from service in Afghanistan.

Machjo

Another possible point of misunderstanding. Certainly any such tax system would have to be for public schools, not private schools, as far as access is concerned. Though of course they could be state or privately owned. Ownership and access are two different things. Just to take an example, the Swedish government (famous for its welfare state model) owns less property per GDP than the United States (famous for its laissez-faire capitalist model).

This notion that socialism and state ownership of property go hand in hand is common in the English-speaking world mainly owing to its having been born out of the labour union movement. In some other countries, socialist parties were born out of labour co-operatives or phylosophical humanist roots, with labour unions playing a weeker albeit still present, role. As for the Swedish model itself, I'm not as familiar with its historical rots, but it's obvious from its low state ownership of property that they're not abour-union roots like in England. In Canada, of course it was mainly born out of agrarian and Christian roots, but like in England, labour quickly became a deciding factor. The current NDP for example, is very much a labour-socialist party, quite different from the Swedish model,which coud explain its pendhant for nationalization and concern for public services to be necessarily provided by state-owned agencies.

Machjo

Unionist wrote:

I like the "earmark" concept.

I think all our taxes should be "earmarked".

For example, if I believe that the three-block radius around my home is in desperate need of repair, I should be allowed to earmark all my municipal and provincial taxes for that.

Naturally, until the repairs were complete, I would have to pay for my own health care and education, but that would be my personal choice.

As for federal income tax, I would like to earmark it all for rehabilitation and retraining (and refuge) for Canadian troops deserting from service in Afghanistan.

 

Well, under such an earmarking system, it would beup to the hospitals to decide whether or not ou have access. But I agree that if such an earmarking system leads to major cuts in healthcare funding, hospitals might decide in fact to make contributions necessary to get health care. But for all we know, earmarking might increase healthcare funding, in which case they could decide that even those who do not contribute to healthcare can still access it for free. But that woudl be a decision for hospitals to make according to circumstances. Unless of course we do like a school tax, whereby there would  in fact be a hospital tax that must be given to a hospital or your choice. Of course a direct transfer tax system could take various forms.

As for military funding, quite honetly I find national militaries redundant and thsu a great waste of money. Why not an internaitonal force of let's say a maximum of 100,000 well trained and equipped men. If a country wants its own military force to boot, so be it. Personally though, I'd be more than happy if Canada satisfied itself with such a force. It would save us and other countries, especially developing ones, alot of money.

Yet even military spending could be earmarked. For example, if you have no use for the military, then you don't give to it. But if you're an oil compay and you want frigates to escort your ships, then you fot the bill. That way even the military would have to adapt to real needs rather than imaginary threats.