Monday, June 02, 2014

Cost of Independent Schools in Victoria

In Victoria we have a significant number of independent schools.  Some are very small and some are on the same scale as public schools.  They all charge fees but dramatically different amounts.

One thing that has been raised in the current teachers labour dispute is the issue of public funding for independent schools.   Independent schools can be partially funded by the government in BC though not all of them.   In Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario the government offers 100% public funding for one set of "independent schools" - the Catholic ones.
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Here is how it is decided which independent schools get government funding:
Group 1 schools - they offer the BC curriculum and use BC certified teachers and have at least 50% of their students come from BC.   They also do not have a per student operating cost higher than the local school district.  In the case of SD#61, as far as I can tell, this is about $8,300 per full time student.  Here in Victoria they qualify for $3,450 per full time student.  Just over 3/4s of the students attending independent schools in BC attend Group 1 schools.

Group 2 schools - as above except their operating cost is more than the cost for a full time student in the local school district.  Here in Victoria they can receive $2,300 per full time student.  About one in five students in independent schools go to a Group 2 school.

Group 3 schools choose not to use BC certified teachers and do not qualify for support.

Group 4 schools mainly cater to international students and receive no funding.

All independent schools charge fees to attend and it is a scale of expense that runs from borderline affordable for families on a middle class income for many of the faith based ones and alternative ones to the top end traditional private schools which are only affordable for the rich.

The fees below do not include any extra fees or costs involved with the school

Annual tuition fee for schools offering curriculum for up to the end of Grade 8 for the first child - faith based schools in red
$3,940 - Lighthouse Christian Academy 
$4,380 - Victoria Catholic Elementary for a parish supporter
$4,500 - Elizabeth Buckley School 
$4,850 - Victoria School for Ideal Education
$5,320 - Anglicans at the Christ Church Cathedral School
$5,352 - Victoria Catholic Elementary for a non-parish supporter
$5,485 - Pacific Christian School to grade 7
$5,500 - Arts Calibre Academy to grade 5
$5,600 - non-Anglicans at the Cathedral School
$7,100 - Discovery School to grade 9
$7,319 - Selkirk Montessori
$7,332 - West Mont Montessori to grade 6
$8,100 - Maria Montessori Academy
$8,364 - West Mont Montessori grades 7 and 8
$12,400 - St Margaret's School to grade 4
$13,200 - St Margaret's School grades 5 to 7
$15,025 - Glenlyon Norfolk House to grade 5
$15,930 - St Michaels University School to grade 5
$17,100 - Glenlyon Norfolk House grades 6 to 8
$18,180 - St Michaels University School grades 6 to 8
$28,800 - Victoria Eaton Arrowsmith School - I am not entirely certain what this school is

For grades 9 to 12, the number of independent school options drops
Tuition fees for High School for the first child
$3,940 - Lighthouse Christian Academy grades 9 and 10
$4,990 - Lighthouse Christian Academy grades 11 and 12
$5,880 - St Andrew's High School (Catholic) for a parish supporter for the first child
$6,800 - Pacific Christian School grade 8 to 12
$7,200 - Discovery School grades 10 to 12
$7,608 - St Andrew's High School (Catholic) for a non-parish supporter for the first child
$8,262 - Maria Montessori Academy grades 9 to 11
$14,400 - St Margaret's School grades 8 and 9
$15,900 - St Margaret's School grades 10 to 12
$18,580 - Glenlyon Norfolk House
$19,790 - St Michaels University School
$28,800 - Victoria Eaton Arrowsmith School

The faith based schools tend to be among the more affordable ones.   The largest faith based independent schools in BC are the Catholic ones.   There are 79 Catholic schools in BC which, in my estimation, means about 24,000 students attend a Catholic school.  This is about one third of all the students in independent schools.

Full public funding of faith based schools is something that still happens in parts of Canada   In Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario the Catholic schools are fully publicly funded.   Newfoundland and Labrador fully funded faith based schools till 1997.  In Quebec they had separate Catholic and Protestant school boards till 1999.   Because here in BC the Catholic schools are not part of the public system there can be problems comparing our education system to those in Alberta or Ontario.

Most  schools offer discounts if more than one child attends and here are some of the examples of what that discount works out to:
$2,026 per child - Lighthouse Christian Academy with 3 children in the school
$2,571 per child - Pacific Christian School with 3 children in school up to grade 7
$2,816 per child - Victoria Catholic Elementary for a parish supporter with 3 children in the school
$3,039 per child - Lighthouse Christian Academy with 2 children in the school
$3,224 per child - Victoria Catholic Elementary for a non-parish supporter with 3 children in the school
$3,654 per child - Pacific Christian School with 2 children in the school up to grade 7
$3,918 per child - Victoria Catholic Elementary for a parish supporter with 2 children in the school
$4,652 per child -  Anglicans at the Christ Church Cathedral School with 3 children in the school
$4,836 per child - Victoria Catholic Elementary for a non-parish supporter with 2 children in the school
$5,070 per child - non-Anglicans at the Christ Church Cathedral School with 3 children in the school
$5,070 per child - Anglicans at the Christ Church Cathedral School with 2 children in the school
$5,132 per child - West Mont Montessori with 3 children in the school to grade 6
$5,300 per child - non- Anglicans at the Christ Church Cathedral School with 2 children in the school
$5,499 per child - West Mont Montessori with 2 children in the school to grade 6
$5,562 per child - Selkirk Montessori with 3 children in the school
$6,002 per child - Selkirk Montessori with 2 children in the school
$9,920 per child - St Margaret's School with 3 children in K-4
$11,160 per child - St Margaret's School with 2 children in K-4
$3,314 per child - Pacific Christian School with 3 children in grades 8 to 12
$3,612 per child -  St Andrew's High School (Catholic) for a parish supporter with 3 children in the school
$4,732 per child - Pacific Christian School with 2 children in the school
$4,848 per child -  St Andrew's High School (Catholic) for a non-parish supporter with 3 children in the school
$5,130 per child -  St Andrew's High School (Catholic) for a parish supporter with 2 children in the school
$6,540 per child  - St Andrew's High School (Catholic) for a non-parish supporter with 2 children in the school
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