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Affordable Post-Secondary Education

...For Kamloops High School Graduates (subject to public referendum)

Whether it's University or Trades training, post-secondary education is expensive! If you're lucky, your parents will be paying for you or you'll get grants and scholarships.

If you're not lucky, you'll be working at the same time, and studying will become that much harder. If you're really unlucky (like myself) you'll be paying off student loans for 10+ years.

Post-secondary education in Canada should be free!

Rather than waiting on federal or provincial leadership, Kamloops should take the initiative and fund OUR students' post-secondary education.

Post-secondary education is free (or almost free) in 40 countries. There is even "free" (with strings attached) post-secondary education in the US.


Who Will Pay?

The primary benefactors of an educated workforce should pay their fair share - medium and large sized employers - either through increased business taxes and fees. "Fair share" does not mean "exclusively responsible for."

Also, consider that the City recorded a $23M budget surplus in 2021 (page 6). This policy would not require any tax increases!

Regardless, it would need to be a decision made by public referendum!

How much will this cost?

Approximately $10M/year, based on the following estimates:

There were (approximately) 1000 Kamloops high school graduates in 2021. Approximately 70% will pursue post-secondary education. The tuition fees on 30 credit units (10 courses per year) is about $4600/year (excluding fees, which are about $2000). Also, not every every one of those 70% will graduate. It's not uncommon (in certain programs) to lose 50% (or more) of the students by the third year.

Would there be any string attached?

Yes, only four years of post-secondary education would be paid for and even then only the tuition portion of educational expenses would be covered. Student fees, books, etc. would not be covered!

In addition, there would be requirements to:

1) Have parents who live and pay taxes (renters pay taxes too) in Kamloops - no out of town or fly-in graduates; and

2) Pass the class(es).

Any requirement to live/work in Kamloops for a period of time after?

No. Except, maybe, for would-be doctors (or other professions) whom we pay to come back.

Do businesses who already pay for their employees extra education get any rebates on these extra taxes?

Arguably - it would be a council decision - not mine.

Can students take whatever classes they want?

Yes, so long as it goes towards their degree or trades training.

What if they want to go to school somewhere else?

If they wanted to go to school at a different college or university then it would be covered but only by an amount equivalent to TRU tuition.

Is this an attainable goal?

Not necessarily, but I will work to make it happen. This is a policy that I will support and advocate for - it is not a promise!

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