Friday, September 28, 2007

Separate School Funding: Anachronistic, Discriminatory

While Ontario Conservative leader John Tory has advanced an election promise of public funding for "Islamic, Hindu, Jewish and other faith-based schools just like public and Catholic ones", the Catholic Register reports on lobbying by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association to end funding for Ontario's Catholic separate schools:

An open letter from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association to Ontario Education Minister Kathleen Wynne has called for the a constitutional amendment to defund Catholic schools.

I agree with the CCLA on this issue. Continued public funding of Catholic separate schools alone is simply anachronistic.

While it is constitutionally mandated and well- intentioned, it is unavoidably discriminatory in practice.

There should be either be equal-opportunity funding for all religious education, or for none of it.

Given that choice, I'd say "none of it. "

Ontario's public education requirements would be best met by one non-denominational, well-funded public school system.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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Unknown said...

We all agree that faith-based funding must be equal - all (PC's) or none (the Greens). Education taxes are collected from all faith communities and our primary concern should be that they are applied to education. Faith-based schools if offering a sound education should therefore be funded. These discussions keep veering towards whether or not children should be educated in faith-based schools which is rediculous since that is the parents right. I would never suggest anyone support my decision to provide my children with a faith-based education, nor would I suggest you send your child to a faith-based school; I merely ask to be allowed to direct my communities education tax dollars to my children's education as is done by the Catholics and parents of all faiths in Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC. It comes down to a question of choice. I support children in arts-based, sports-based or French immersion schools and I expect support for my children in public Jewish Day Schools as is done in 5 other provinces. What exactly is the One School System Network proposing? Will they do away with all school choices including special needs and gifted programs? Or is it just religious education they abhor?

Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly that separate religious schools should not be funded from the public purse. While I embrace multiculturalism, I have never agreed with freedom of religion. On the contrary, the people of the world need freedom from religion. While admitting that 73% of all statistics are made up on the spot, 92% of all of the worlds problems are religion based. Teaching children - who lack the skills to filter out truth from myth - that there is an invisible force out there that governs, controls, and observes our behaviour is the very definition of child abuse. Funding any organization that deeply scars our children is immoral, unethical, and dangerous. For thousands of years people have been trying to prove the existence of one god or another and they have failed. There is just as much evidence for the existence of a supreme being as there is for leprechauns. People, please stop teaching your children things that have no basis in reality. In doing so you do your children, yourself, and your society a disservice.

Jeff Hill

Nanaimo, BC