Canadian Schools Rely on Funds From Outside, Survey Finds

By Karla Scoon Reid — August 09, 2005 1 min read
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A national school survey shows that schools in Canada raise, on average, $15,700 Canadian a year through advertising, private partnerships, fund raising, and student fees to pay for some of the necessities of schooling.

The report, released last month, found that more than a quarter of all publicly financed elementary schools and roughly half of all secondary ones have advertising on their campuses. Almost a third of all schools have incentive programs to encourage students, teachers, and community members to buy or use a company’s products or services in exchange for cash or in-kind contributions. Almost half of all schools hold fund-raisers to pay for library books.

The survey of 3,100 publicly subsidized schools was conducted over the past school year on behalf of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation; the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, an Ottawa-based think tank; and the Fédération des Syndicats de L’Enseignement, a Quebec-based organization for unions representing teachers who work in French-speaking schools.

Terry Price, the president of the Ottawa-based Canadian Federation of Teachers, which represents 213,000 teachers, said the survey finally provides the “hard data” necessary to back up teachers’ anecdotes and strengthens their call for the government to fully fund public schools.

“There is a significant risk that these activities are contributing to a two-tiered education system—affluent versus less-affluent communities, urban versus rural regions—where cultural and language diversities and realities are not adequately recognized or respected,” Ms. Price said in a news release.

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A version of this article appeared in the August 10, 2005 edition of Education Week


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