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On 22 November 2012, South Africa's Constitutional Court is scheduled to hear the case of Kwazulu-Natal Joint Liaison Committee v. The Member of the Executive Council, Department of Education, Kwazulu-Natal and Others, involving the extent to which Kwazulu-Natal is obliged to subsidise certain qualifying independent schools that apparently serve impoverished learners in the province. While South Africa's legal and policy frameworks provide for provinces to subsidise qualifying independent schools, this case reminds us of fundamental questions that need to be continually raised when state resources are being deployed for private, exclusive use. Is it good public policy to be encouraging the public funding of private schools? What is the trajectory of this approach? Where does this policy lead? Is it our view that the public schooling system cannot and will not be able to provide a quality education, and therefore some reliance upon so-called 'low-cost private schools' is necessary? What is the overall social impact, in the short, medium and long term of a policy to secure or increase state support for private education? To what extent will these public subsidies by necessity reduce available state support for public education? This input will interrogate the competing rights of South Africa's learners attending subsidised independent schools and nearby public schools. On the one hand, one must consider the rights of the learners who attend subsidised independent schools. These learners will inevitably be harmed if the State fails to follow through with its obligations to monitor, support and subsidise these schools. On the other hand, it is imperative to consider the rights and interests of the learners who attend public schools. Public funding of independent schools draws resources from a limited resource pool that would otherwise be fully allocated to public schools. These diverted resources go far beyond funding and include skilled parents who will no longer be available to sit on SGBs, reduction in the academic benefit for public school learners to attend classes with slightly more affluent learners, reduced emphasis on the public school's role as a place of social cohesion, and drain on the ability of public school learners to access qualified teachers who are already in high demand.