Ontario is increasingly relying on private revenue streams — including tuition paid by international students in its secondary schools — to address chronic underfunding of its education system, three UWindsor researchers say.
In an article published Feb. 27 in the Conversation, which shares news and views from the academic and research community, sociology professor Natalie Delia Deckard and education professors Lana Parker and Bonnie Stewart write that recruitment of children from around the world poses several concerns.
“By chipping away at the collective will to fund schools through taxes by creating alternative funding streams, Canada is eroding education as a public good and replacing communities with individual consumers,” the article states.
Doing so worsens the divide between rich and poor, the researchers say.
“For example, with acceptance of the idea that private funds should pay for education, fees function to keep formerly public school programs inaccessible to some members of the public. Such divides can perpetuate damaging inequalities from one generation to the next.”
They call for more research and public awareness efforts in support of international students.
“If Canadian provinces use international programs simply to subsidize funding gaps, it will ultimately damage confidence in school safety and value. Public education in Canada needs to be public in spirit and practice.”
Read the entire piece, “Canada’s high schools are underfunded and turning to international tuition to help,” in the Conversation.