Around Town: Independent schools, Festival prayer, TWU in court . . .

BCTF president Jim Iker doesn't want any public money going toward independent schools. Photo from BCTF Facebook page.

BCTF president Jim Iker doesn’t want any public money going toward independent schools. Photo from BCTF Facebook page.

The head of the Federation of Independent School Associations (FISA) says private schools – more than half of which are Christian – should not be blamed for funding shortfalls in the public education system.

During a May 20 interview on NEWS 1130, Peter Froese said that private schools – except for the university-prep schools, which charge high tuition – would close their doors if the $340 million-per-year in grants were eliminated. Their children would then have to go to public schools, and costs to the government would go even higher.
tyeestgeorgesFroese was responding to articles such as Why Are BC’s Independent Schools Getting So Much Money?, posted on The Tyee May 17. Accompanied by a photo of St. George’s School – an elite school on the west side of Vancouver, quite atypical of most private schools – the article pointed out that feelings are already running pretty high, in some quarters, against private education:

BC Teachers’ Federation posts on Facebook – more than a dozen in May – usually get a few dozen likes or shares. But one recent post hit a nerve, inspiring over 8,600 shares, 6,300 comments and reaching about 600,000 people so far.

”This year, B.C. gave $358 million to private schools, including those for the super-elite. Meanwhile, Osoyoos is being forced to close its high school because of government underfunding,” read the text superimposed on photos of St. Michael’s University School, where tuition for Canadian students runs upwards of $21,000 a year . . .

 Writer Katie Hyslop said:
. . . half of B.C.’s 60 public school boards are grappling with deficits that reach a combined $84 million. They are closing schools and cutting programs, including supports for vulnerable students.

And the public appetite for funding private schools appears to be waning, at least among the parents, educators and trustees in districts like Vancouver, Chilliwack and Okanagan Similkameen – which includes Osoyoos – that are facing budget shortfalls.

Peter Froese is the head of FISA.

Peter Froese is the head of FISA.

She then pointed out some of what Froese stated on NEWS 1130:

Independent schools are getting more money – a budgeted $358 million last year – because they are attracting more students. Peter Froese, executive director of the Federation of Independent School Associations of BC, said that independent schools have seen an increase of 15,000 students since 2005/06, while public schools have lost 60,000 students.
However, Hyslop notes, “that’s not how the teachers’ union sees it.” BCTF president Jim Iker wants the students – and the grants that come with them – returned to the public system, hoping that would allow for the restoration of some services he says have been lost to budget cuts.
For the full Tyee article go here.
On May 25, the debate went national on CBC Radio’s The Current, under the heading Should taxpayers fund private schools? Host Anna-Maria Tremonti interviewed Jim Iker along with Deani Van Pelt, director of the Barbara Mitchell Centre for Improvement in Education at the Fraser Institute and Charles Ungerleider, professor emeritus of education at UBC. Basically, Van Pelt favours independent schools, while the other two don’t.
Iker said:
We believe that all taxpayer-raised money should be going to public schools. We believe that public schools as well as public services are the cornerstone of our democracy . . .
When Tremonti pointed out that supporters of public money for private schools say it is more cost-effective because the government pays less per student, he avoided the point and said:
Well, you know, that’s not the issue. Our goal as a society is to make sure that all of our children, all of our youth, have access to a strong public education system. . . . Parents have the choice. They can send their children to private schools. We don’t have an issue with that, but we don’t believe that any public dollars should be used to subsidize private schools.
Go here for the full 20-minute interview.

Pray for Lower Mainland / Festival

Festival of Hope leaders gathered on the stage.

The Festival of Hope was launched March 31; an evening of prayer is set for May 29.

“The most important ingredient in a successful Festival is prayer!” So says the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada (BGEAC), which is overseeing next spring’s Festival of Hope.

Thus they are encouraging local Christians to come out to Westside Church this Sunday (May 29). Worship and Prayer for the Lower Mainland & the Festival of Hope will take place from 6:30 pm.

They say:

As Christians come pray with faith and believing God for the lost in their community, God hears and meets us where He is needed. Without prayer, it is simply human efforts. With prayer and faith, it is people we love and care for coming to salvation through Christ. It is lives being transformed! To pray and to see those prayers answered through the Festival is a blessing and a privilege.

Every aspect of the Festival directs believers toward prayer – determined, heartfelt, ceaseless prayer. So, please be in prayer for Franklin Graham, our team leaders and, most importantly, that the Word of the Lord be spread throughout the greater Vancouver area.

To sign up for the Festival Prayer Team, contact festival@bgea.ca.

TWU in court

twulawschool1Trinity Western University (TWU) will be back in court again next week as it continues its quest to establish a Christian law school. It will appear in the BC Court of Appeal June 1 – 3. In January, a TWU release said it was “ready to go back to court to defend law school graduates.”:

Trinity Western University is ready to go back to court to defend its graduates later this year. Last month Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson struck out a decision by the B.C. Law Society to reject graduates of TWU’s proposed School of Law, and restored an earlier decision that accepted TWU qualifications. He cited improper procedure and a breach of religious freedom. The Law Society of B.C. filed an appeal [January 5].

“We had hoped the Law Society of B.C. would let Chief Justice Hinkson’s decision stand, but we were prepared for an appeal,” said Earl Philips, the executive director of TWU’s proposed School of Law. “The decision to approve a law school graduate must be based not on the personal views of society members, but on the law and evidence. For this reason, we believe the court will continue to rule in favour of TWU.”

The university’s plans to open a law school have drawn attention from critics of its Community Covenant. One section asks students to abstain from sexual intimacy outside of traditional marriage. [TWU spokesperson Amy] Robertson believes the objections stem from misunderstanding. Several LGBTQ students attend the university, and TWU does not inquire about sexual orientation during the admissions process.

This spring, the highest courts in Nova Scotia, Ontario and BC have been asked to decide whether their respective provincial law societies can exclude lawyers from practicing law in their provinces if they were educated at TWU.
The Nova Scotia hearing took place April 6 – 8, the BC Court of Appeal will be June 1 – 3 and the Ontario Court of Appeal June 6 – 8. All three cases will probably end up in the Supreme Court of Canada.

May 26, 2016

Public Lecture on Pope Francis's Encyclical Letter Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home – May 26, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Tourist Company – May 26, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Marc Dupont: In His Presence – May 26, 2016 - May 27, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

May 27, 2016

Church Leaders Forum: Cultivating a Culture of Dare – May 27, 2016 at 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Chapel: Unified – May 27, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Ignite Maple Ridge – May 27, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

May 28, 2016

Blessed are the Peacemakers: Concepts and Tools for Better Conflict, with Darrin Hotte – May 28, 2016 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Irresistible Community: Small Groups Leadership Training Broadcast Conference – May 28, 2016 at 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Neighbourhood Garage Sale – May 28, 2016 at 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Soul Gospel: Featuring Canada’s Queen of Soul, Dawn Pemberton and choirs from Sarah McLachlan School of Music – May 28, 2016 at 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
New Beginnings Concert: Fundraiser Concert for Refugees – May 28, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Soul Gospel: Featuring Canada’s Queen of Soul, Dawn Pemberton and choirs from Sarah McLachlan School of Music – May 28, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

May 29, 2016

Worship and Prayer for the Lower Mainland & the Festival of Hope – May 29, 2016 at 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Switchfoot in Concert – May 29, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

May 30, 2016

First United: 9th Annual Golf Tournament for the Homeless – May 30, 2016 at 1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Dying Well: Panel and Discussion – May 30, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 8:45 pm
Faith & Justice Roundtable: Housing & Displacement Crisis – May 30, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Cindy Aalders: And a Little Child Shall Lead Them: Children as Spiritual Guides in 18th Century England – May 30, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

May 31, 2016

NightShift Charity Golf Classic – May 31, 2016 at All Day
Religious Freedom Protest for TWU Law School at Vancouver Law Courts – May 31, 2016 at 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Faith Rising: The Church Responding in the Middle East – May 31, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

June 1, 2016

Walking in the Spirit of Reconciliation: Langley Churches for Reconciliation – June 1, 2016 - June 4, 2016 at All Day
Vancouver Pastors Prayer Fellowship – June 1, 2016 at 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Business By the Book: Peter Fassbender – June 1, 2016 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Faith Rising: The Church Responding in the Middle East – June 1, 2016 at 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Laurel Borisenko: A Geography of Scars – Stories and Responses to Refugee Crises – June 1, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Jazz Evensong: Christie Grace – June 1, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

June 2, 2016

Drama: Screaming in Silence – June 2, 2016 - June 4, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Stephen Woodworth – June 2, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

June 3, 2016

Andy Atkins: Fighting Poverty, Saving the Earth – June 3, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Love the Stranger: Responding to the Current Refugee Crisis – June 3, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
More Than a Roof Presents: Art from the Shadows – June 3, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Pacific Mennonite Children's Choir: Folk Songs Far and Near – June 3, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

June 4, 2016

Launch of Victim Circles of Support Program – June 4, 2016 at 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Peter Anderson: Youth Explored: Tools for Understanding and Engaging the Next Generation – June 4, 2016 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Rosemary Heights Retreat Centre Garage Sale – June 4, 2016 at 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

June 5, 2016

DTES Church Gathering – June 5, 2016 at 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

June 6, 2016

Gordon Smith: What Can Evangelicals Learn from Catholics? – June 6, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

June 8, 2016

Darrell Johnson & Special Guest Presenters: A Consultation on Preaching – June 8, 2016 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death (Psalm 23): Perspectives of Patients and Families on End of Life and Medical Assistance in Dying – June 8, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Jeffrey Greenman: The Pedagogy of Praise – How Congregational Worship Shapes Christian Character – June 8, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Jazz Evensong: Triology – June 8, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

June 9, 2016

Wit by Margaret Edison – June 9, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

June 10, 2016

Pause for Perspective: Silent Retreat with Father Richard Soo SJ – June 10, 2016 at 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
A Rocha: Stories & Song, with Peter & Miranda Harris, Sandra McCracken – June 10, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Duncan Africa Benefit Concert – June 10, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

June 11, 2016

DRIME Fundraiser: Run for the Nations – June 11, 2016 at All Day
The Mission of God and Your Church – June 11, 2016 at All Day
Gordon Smith: Cultivating Institutions that Thrive – June 11, 2016 at 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Mental Health Workshops: Mental Health, Faith & Community – June 11, 2016 at 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Gospel Music Festival – June 11, 2016 at 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Saint Eugene de Mazenod Play – June 11, 2016 at 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Reconcile This!: Uniting Struggles Against Colonial Dispossession & Capitalist Displacement – June 11, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Jesus Loves Me Hymn Festival – June 11, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

June 12, 2016

Watoto Children's Choir – June 12, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

June 14, 2016

GWW: God's Word Written – Biblical Apologetics & Preaching Conference – June 14, 2016 - June 16, 2016 at All Day
Watoto Children's Choir – June 14, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

June 15, 2016

British Columbia Christian Ashram – June 15, 2016 at All Day
Kairos Course (Cantonese) – June 15, 2016 at All Day
Clergy Abuse: Finding Ways to Heal – June 15, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Watoto Children's Choir – June 15, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Jazz Evensong: Miles Wong – June 15, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

June 16, 2016

EFC Webinar: Youth and Church – Five Years Since the Hemorrhaging Faith Study – June 16, 2016 at 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Seaside Social: A Fundraising Evening for Creative Life – June 16, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Watoto Children's Choir – June 16, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

June 17, 2016

Pink Impact 2016 Women's Conference – June 17, 2016 - June 18, 2016 at 1:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Watoto Children's Choir: Oh, What Love – June 17, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

June 18, 2016

Refugee Hope Walk – June 18, 2016 at 9:00 am - 11:30 am
Combating Modern Day Slavery – June 18, 2016 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Watoto Children's Choir – June 18, 2016 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Angus Stuart: Word of Light – The Gospel of John in the Flesh – June 18, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

June 19, 2016

World Refugee Sunday – June 19, 2016 at All Day
Ecumenical Worship in the Park – June 19, 2016 at 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Watoto Children's Choir – June 19, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

June 20, 2016

TRC Challenge Event & National Aboriginal Day – June 20, 2016 at 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

June 22, 2016

CSSA Golf Tournament for Mission Possible – June 22, 2016 at 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Jazz Evensong: Kelita Haverland – June 22, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

June 23, 2016

Pilar Mehlis: I Belong Here . . . – June 23, 2016 at All Day
Kairos Blanket Exercise – June 23, 2016 at 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Fr. Jacques Philippe: Series of talks on Mercy – June 23, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

June 24, 2016

Men for God Conference – June 24, 2016 - June 25, 2016 at 6:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Chapel: School's Out 2016 - Trilogy – June 24, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 11:55 pm
Tamara Kleinsasser in Concert – June 24, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Watoto Children's Choir – June 24, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

June 25, 2016

Birthright International Walk/Run Day – June 25, 2016 at 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Welcome Centre Opening – June 25, 2016 at 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Vancouver Oratorio Society: The Path of Composition – June 25, 2016 at 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Watoto Children's Choir – June 25, 2016 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Aboriginal Day Electronica Liturgy – June 25, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Cathy AJ Hardy Album Release Party: 'And I Heard the Sound of Laughter' – June 25, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

June 26, 2016

World Refugee Sunday – June 26, 2016 at All Day
St. Jude's Open House – June 26, 2016 at 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Kairos Course (Cantonese) – June 26, 2016 at 3:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Watoto Children's Choir – June 26, 2016 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Mixed Multitude Music Album Release / Listening Party – June 26, 2016 at 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Vancouver Oratorio Society: Silver Jubilee Celebration Concert – June 26, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

June 27, 2016

Richard Mouw: Why Evangelicals Need Sacred Spaces – June 27, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

1 comment for “Around Town: Independent schools, Festival prayer, TWU in court . . .

  1. Michael
    June 6, 2016 at 7:48 am

    Let’s just spell this out: of course private schools are in part to blame for this situation. Christians are too precious to send their kids to public schools these days. Their kids are too special to rub shoulders with those scary heathens. Visited any church lately? Kids’ churches tend to be filled to the brim with out-of-touch, spoiled kids all attending private Christian school.

    And if you wonder why Churches are not growing, and why churches are increasingly irrelevant to the “unchurched”, this is a big, big, big reason why.

    Also, if you don’t engage in the public system, don’t be surprised when they public doesn’t understand Christians, or have any love for Christians. Why should the public love Christians? And wake-up Christians: the kids from public school, they are nicer. One year we volunteered with a group of kids from public school and a group of kids from private Christian school . . . guess what? If you tell your kids they are special, then they act like they are special.

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