Part of the series Who says…
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2015-03-09.
Money is a blessing until it starts to control us, pervert a system or destroy relationships.
Building on a foundation that God is, that He created the universe and that He ultimately is responsible for our children’s being, should provide ample substance upon which to build our faith. This lengthy series will identify the secular thinking that has eroded that faith.
Bible Reference: 1 Tim. 6-10
Two weeks ago, I wrote about education funding from the taxpayer’s point of view. Last week, I addressed money issue from a home education provider’s point of view. This week, I would like to conclude by talking about money from a home educating parent’s point of view. I would like to do so by starting with parent resource funding from the school’s point of view and finish from the parent’s point of view. As you can see, it is all about perspective or the point of view and how we deal with money is very much determined by it.
When the government makes the 25% of public school basic funding available for the provision of a home education (public, separate and private schools are all funded at the same rate), it stipulates that a minimum of 50% of this money be made available to parents towards the purchase of educational supplies and services. (It should be noted that some home education providers promise slightly more than the 50% as a way of enticing more registrations along with the associated money.) Parents are often misinformed as to what this actually means. This money is to be made available (not given) by the school to the parents. This money is not sent to the parents but to the school and so it should never be viewed as the parent’s money. It is in fact the school’s money. It is the school that has to determined how parents can spend this money. The school is responsible to account for this money to the government from which it came. Everything purchased with this money belongs to the school, not the parents, and can legitimately be reclaimed by the school, even though most forego this option.
Therefore, the first thing that must be understood about home education funding is that the money does not belong to the parents, but to the school. Parents seeing this money as their money will be looking at it from the wrong point of view! With this wrong point of view will come bad decisions. Not only bad decisions but bad consequences that come from these bad decision, as this point of view leads to a sense of entitlement and entitlement usually does not consider the other guy. Many relationships have been irreparably damaged with this point of view.
The second thing that must be addressed is that the funding is to made available towards the purchase of educational supplies and services. Since the government has not stipulated how this money can or cannot be spent, there is lots of room for misappropriation of funds by both the provider and the parents. Unscrupulous providers can justify anything as an educational expense and often use this money as a way to “buy” more students. It is true that nearly anything can be justified as an educational expense, but we must differentiate between a legitimate expense and an illegitimate justification. In our twenty-five years of home education experience as parents, facilitators and providers, we could write a book on how this funding has been misused. However, it must be stipulated that no matter how badly this money has been abused, it is the providers that have allowed the parents to do so, largely out of fear of losing the parents to less discerning boards or as previously mentioned, as a way of increasing student count and who are ultimately responsible. We have seen a number of parents register with another board who is more liberal in the interpretation of educational supply and services and who are obviously far more interested in the immediate personal benefits than in home education’s long term best interest.
Who says that the parents have the correct point of view regarding home education funding? Some do. Most do. Most understand that this funding is a blessing and exercise reasonable restraint in how this funding can be spent. Furthermore, these parents are fine with not spending all of “their” money because they realize that it is not “their” money. Ultimately, all good things come from God and since if it comes from God it must be used with respect and thanksgiving. Good people are usually good stewards who make people and righteous living more important than money.