One School System.
•Do all Ontarians pay for Catholic Education?
Yes. Every Ontario tax payer pays for education. That money is distributed by the province to both boards according to the education funding formula, primarily based on enrollment.
•Why do I have to declare which board I support municipally?
That declaration allows you to vote on your board specific trustees but does not affect your taxes.
•Doesn’t the constitution mandate funding Catholic education?
There is a clause in the constitution; however, Newfoundland and Quebec have received exemptions and successfully transitioned to funding only one school board.
•Anyone can go to or be hired to the Catholic school board, right?
No. The Catholic School board, although publicly funded, can deny employment and enrollment based on faith. This means 1/3 of the provinces teaching jobs are not available to 2/3 of the provinces teachers based on faith. Non-Catholics hired by the Catholic board are hired into different kinds of jobs that do not have opportunity for advancement and promotion.
•Why do we have a Catholic board?
Historically there was discrimination against Catholics. Separate schools were mandated by the government to protect Catholic children and support the values of their communities.
•How will it save money?
The administration of four school boards produces a lot of duplication. Bulk-buying of supplies is not available to smaller boards. Bussing costs are higher than they need to be. It is estimated that merging the school boards would produce savings of $1.3-1.6 billion.
•What about French language boards?
Right now, we have 4 school boards (English Public, English Catholic, French Public, French Catholic). The GPO is proposing one English and one French Public school system.
•But we have always had Catholic education, why change now?
There are lots of ways our education system has changed over the years. We used to re-train children who were left-handed to write with their right hands. We’ve decided to move on from that one. We also used to have prayer and Bible stories in the classroom in the public board.
As our society changed our education system has changed. With the threat of closing schools and cuts to education now is the time to talk about ending the wasteful duplication.
Information courtesy of Mark Daye.