Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Private school parents want province to pay for upgrades

I guess the free market isn't good for everything, eh?

VANCOUVER — British Columbia has spent millions of dollars to improve seismic safety for students attending public schools, but has no similar program to protect thousands of children in independent schools.

That troubles George and Suzana Kovacic, whose daughter is entering Grade 1 at St. Michael’s School in Burnaby next week. They’ve asked everyone from the school principal to the premier but no one has been able to explain why independent schools have not been part of the provincial drive to improve student safety in B.C.’s earthquake zones.

From the Vancouver Sun. Now to be fair, some of their complaints are actually legitimate:
There are no rules requiring independent school operators to conduct seismic assessments of their buildings and no central registry — such as the one that exists for public schools — identifying buildings that may be at risk in the event of an earthquake.
Safety legislation should apply across the board to all schools, public and private. However, the cost should be borne by the school's owner -- which is the province in the case of public schools, but not private ones. And if the parents can't afford the tuition increase that would result, it won't kill their kids to go to a public school like the rest of us did.

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