The Unconventional Panel weighs in on a topic that has Calgary Eyeopener listeners buzzing: public dollars for private schools.

Liberal MLA Kent Hehr, who represents Calgary Buffalo, says the province could save up to $50 million a year by stopping the subsidies.

Hehr said Monday that public funds shouldn't prop up private institutions that compete with the public system.

"I believe our public school system is an excellent place for kids to learn," he said. "If people do not want to take part in the public school system, that is their right. But it's not a corresponding right for the taxpayers to fund that choice for a religious or cultural option."

But Erin Corbett, the head of a private Calgary school, says the private system is often misunderstood.

She says a child in a private school receives 70 per cent of the funding that would be allocated to them in the public sphere.

"[The funding] represents a percentage of funding that follows a child. So I receive funding at River Valley School, an inclusive private school in Calgary, per enrolment. It’s not a lump sum, it’s for the child that enters my doors," Corbett said on Tuesday.

  • Is it time the Alberta government reconsiders what it pays for? Click on "Listen" above to hear the Unconventional Panel's debate on public funding for private schools.