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June 9th, 2014:

Public funding for Catholic schools has no place in 21st-century Ontario.

Brilliant article in the Glob and Mash today.

Key paragraphs for me – and a message that should be read to all Ontario residents.

The arguments from proponents of publicly-funded Catholic schooling amount to a self-interested assertion that they are entitled to their entitlements. Some might contend that the Catholic system is no longer even very Catholic, having evolved in accordance with secular values despite the dictates of the church itself – for instance, allowing gay-straight alliances and access to contraception.

This argument is self-defeating: if the Catholic system really was just another secular schooling option, all the more reason to merge with the regular public system. Of course Ontario’s public Catholic schools remain tied to the Catholic Church. Hiring of teachers into Catholic schools explicitly discriminates on this basis, with school boards requiring a signed affirmation from a priest that the candidate “participates in the sacramental life of the Church” and “comes from a Catholic background.” There is a surplus of willing and qualified teachers for Ontario’s public schools who cannot find work. It should infuriate any thinking person that public funding flows to schools that actively discriminate against passionate teachers simply because they don’t come from the right religion.

Kudos to the Green Party who are the only major party in Ontario to endorse the merging of the two Boards.

As an intermediate point, can’t we at least have an open debate and an unbiased third-party study looking at the financial pros and cons of such a move?

It would be a start.