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Let's not forget that by closing West Bench we are further strengthening the two-tier education system already in place -- the private school system. Rather than settle for such a poor option of being bused past the next closest elementary school, and put in a school that will be next to a construction site for the next three years, many WB parents are looking for a better, more equitable option. For next year, WB already has transfers to Outma, Holy Cross, Montessori and Entre-Lacs.

By allowing this rural school grant, we will slow the flow of kids to the private school system -- to that second tier. From the late '70s to 2014, the percentage of students in private schools in BC has climbed from 4.3% to 14%. We need to make choices that make public school at least an equitable option, if not a preferable option for students.

In addition, allowing another level of government, the RDOS, to provide money for the Rural School Grant is not the same as individuals paying for schooling in their area. (ie) it is separate and distinct from the private school tuition model or the local taxation model of the US. It is a level of gov't providing the subsidy. Allowing the RDOS to provide the Rural Grant money is as equitable as receiving this grant from the current providers, the provincial level of gov't.

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