Education Funding

Critical Response to “A Short History of K-12 Public School Spending in British Columbia”

“Recently a scholar at UBC, Jason Ellis, made the claim in a research article that “K-12 public education spending in British Columbia – adjusted for inflation – is 250 percent higher in 2020 than it was in 1970”. Concerned that readers might misinterpret such a claim, we authored an article offering both a critique of that claim and a more carefully conducted analysis of the available data. We illustrate how Ellis’ claim lacks a theoretical framework, is based on weak data sources, a flawed research method and skewed analysis that results in a misleading understanding of resource allocations in BC. We present alternative ways to understand spending on education in BC in an effort to correct the scholarly and public record.”

Daniel Laitsch, John Malcolmson and Larry Kuehn

Dr. Daniel Laitsch is the chairperson of the IPE/BC Board,  founding director for the Centre for Study of Educational Leadership, Associate Professor at SFU and Director of the SFU Surrey Campus Liaison, Faculty of Education. His research interests include examining the use of research by teachers, application of research to inform policy and practice and policy analysis.

John Malcolmson is on the IPE/BC Board of Direcformerly the CUPE research analyst for the K-12 sector. He is interested in education finance and, in particular, the mounting structural shortfall in K-12 funding produced as a result of neoliberal austerity imposed from above and the changing role played by property taxation in public school funding.

Dr. Larry Kuehn is a member of the IPE/BC Board of Directors and chair of the Research and Programs Committee.  He is a research associate for the CCPA and retired BCTF Director of Research and Technology. He has written extensively on education matters including funding,  globalization, technology and privacy.

Neoliberalism and Public Education Finance in Canada: Reframing Educational Leadership as Entrepreneurship

This book, authored by Wendy Poole, Gerald Fallon and Vicheth Sen, reports on research that investigated the worlds of school district administrators (SDAs) in the education policy environment characterized by retrenchment of government expenditure on public education and the imperative for school districts to actively generate supplementary revenue through entrepreneurial and other means.  It reports on the kinds of initiatives that SDAs undertook to protect public funding and to generate new sources of funding through business-like activities, paying attention to the ways in which the SDAs responded to the policy environment differently according to their understandings of local contextual conditions.  Themes that permeate various chapters of the book include:

(1) the impact of entrepreneurial public education finance policy on financial equity between school districts in a spatially diverse province and the implications for equity of student access to quality education; and

(2) how SDAs negotiated their subjectivities as educational leaders within a policy rationality that
compelled a business-like model of leadership.

“We propose a vision of educational leadership that transcends the parochialism and self-interestedness of entrepreneurial leadership at the school district level and that moves toward public education and educational leadership for the common good.”                      Dr. Wendy Poole 

Dr. Poole, a former secondary teacher and leader, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at UBC. Her research  interests include educational leadership, teacher unionism and education policy, particularly neo-liberal policy and its impact on students, teachers, administrators and school communities.

Dr. Fallon’s research interests include school and education system managementand cultural diversity.  education law, policy, sustainability and leadership.  He is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at UBC. Dr. Fallon also has extensive experience in school and district leadership positions.

Dr. Vicheth Sen is a sessional instructor in the Department of Educational Studies at UBC. His research interests include adult and higher education and social justice/equity in ‘postcolonial’ and post-conflict/transitionalsocieties, neoliberalism and public education, and adult learning and sustainability.