Thursday, January 07, 2010

Against taxpayer-funded snobbery

Since the beginning of the state education system, there has always been a parallel private system, catering to those who thought that any school which accepted ordinary children was not good enough for their little darlings, who could not possibly mix with the peasants lest they be contaminated.

Unfortunately, the government funds this snobbery. Primarily, this is done through the education budget as a subsidy to private schools, but they're now also giving out $2.6 million a year in "aspire scholarships" to poor children (which despite their name, aren't awarded on merit; instead they're a lottery). The message behind this is clear: the public education system isn't good enough, and everyone should instead aspire to go to a private school. Meanwhile, the snob schools get the cover of a few token poor people (which they can then use to claim that they are charities, despite those places being funded by government scholarships), plus of course a backdoor method of increasing their subsidies even further.

This is not something we should be paying for. The sole purpose of private schools is to promote the snobbery of the rich. Instead of funding that, we should be putting that money into improving our public education system so that it delivers for every child. And if the wealthy want to exclude themselves from that so they can think they are better than the rest of us, they can pay for it themselves.