Thursday, May 3, 2007

Ontario Greens Call for a Unified Secular Public School System

According to Ian Urquhart, Ontario's Green Party will be running on the issue of ending public support for faith-based schools (which includes Roman Catholic schools that are currently funded through public dollars). This is a good idea - one I was hoping the NDP would adopt.

6 comments:

Dylan said...

I cannot support ending public funding to faith-based schools - unless public system would teach some sort of religion class (which it should).

You see, there are lots of public services that I am not using yet paying taxes for. Like welfare, or public housing. I'm paying for these but there are arguments questioning why I should pay for the house, or bi-weekly salary, for someone who is able-bodied and could work.

However, just because I do not use these services they do some good for society.

Or what about people who don't support the consumption of alcohol and yet their taxes pay for Liqour boards? Or Don't eat mean, yet they pay for the single desk beef, chicken, and hog markets? Their tax dollars are paying for something which many of them are MORALLY against - yet you don't find outcry about that.

Fact is, the government cannot have a single system that pleases everyone so they give the most money to programs which the majority of people pay for (through taxes) and hand out smaller amounts to the private system to cover all the bases.

Should people, of any class or economic status, have the right to choose what form of education their child recieves? If the answer is yes, then there's justification for the meager public funding 'private' schools recieve.

Uncorrected Proofs said...

I think you're missing the point. I strongly support public services, but public money should not be used for religious purposes. Ontario's discriminatory education system, which favours Roman Catholicism above all other religions is most fairly and most easily corrected by establishing a single secular education system in the province.

Dylan said...

I think I get the point alright, you don't think public taxdollars should be used to fund anything of religious nature.

"Ontario's discriminatory education system, which favours Roman Catholicism above all other religions is most fairly and most easily corrected by establishing a single secular education system in the province."

Your answer does not match the problem. The problem is that the Roman Catholic school system recieves full funding from the government while no other faith-based private institution gets funding that they need.

The correction would be to pro-rate funding based on a school's number of staff and students while tuition fees makes up the rest of the operating costs.

Eliminating Catholic or any other faith-based school system into a single public system where religion won't be explored, discussed, or tolerated in class where it is applicable is not the answer to the question of the descriminatory funding of one private systems over another.

If you don't think that religion should be funded in part or at all through taxdollars then I guess that includes art forms like musicans, painters, photographers or film-makers.

janfromthebruce said...

"Eliminating Catholic or any other faith-based school system into a single public system where religion won't be explored, discussed, or tolerated in class where it is applicable is not the answer to the question of the descriminatory funding of one private systems over another."

Dylan, in Ontario, the only publically funded religious education is Catholic. Supporting a one school system, just means the ending of full-funding of Catholic education. Like Quebec and Newfoundland, it would mean one system, but it does not necessarily mean that religious education would be excluded, so for example, the system could provide a world religoius class.
What you seem to be suggesting, is that there be a whole bunch of schools, with all the infrastructure to support it, for a whole bunch of various schools, with public and private fees. That sounds like two-tier education.
The one being advocated in the province of Ontario by some school boards, is one system.
Dylan, the one you seem to support, is being put forth by the John Tory and the Ontario progressive conservative party. Funding all religious groups, which last count in Ontario was about 120 various religious groups.
I strongly support a one school system, with no privilege given to any social, economic, religious or other special group interest.
Private schools are not effected by this, as in Ontario they are not funded and never have been.
Twice Ontario has been sanctioned by the UN for religious discrimination, in 1999, and 2002. The choice is fund them all or none.
I prefer that we have one strong system, that promotes education for all.
I would be looking closer to what the Green Party means by one school system, as I have read their policy document. They seem to want to fund home schooling and Montessori Schools, for example.

Anyway, I do hope that the NDP will take it on. I know there are a quite a few "one school system" resolutions to be voted on at the Ontario Public School Board Assoc meeting in June. Thus this organizational body will lobby the Provincial govt to go there.
It was be more efficient and equitable.

Mark Dowling said...

Phasing out the Catholic system but maintaining the funding could also mean almost the same number of schools be kept open but they could become more specialised - more french schools, more technical schools etc. rather than maintaining separate general purpose catholic and state schools in small communities.

janfromthebruce said...

Mark, that is an idea, but it is a way to take the same dollars and promote excellence in programming. It is harder to do in rural and northern boards, with declining enrolment.
I think that there is alot of room in both boards for consolidation of student population, and yes, it could mean in certain situations, a reduction in school buildings.
Sometimes, in towns you have a public and catholic school almost beside one another, with empty space in both. Not only is that not efficient, but environmentally, we are contributing to CO2 emissions.