Posts Tagged ‘one school system’

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

Monday, June 9th, 2014

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.

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Hudak vows to cancel full day Kindergarten

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

As a volunteer on a not-for-profit childcare centre Board, I can say with some authority that the FDK horse has left the barn. There has been some bumps on the road to implementation, but it has overall been a success.

Furthermore, cancelling it now in its final stage of implementation would not only throw Ontario schools into a staffing and infrastructural state of chaos, but would spell the death knell for many not-for-profits in the Province.

If he truly wanted to do something positive for public education, Hudak would vow to seriously explore considering Ontario as a Province without a wasteful and discriminatory publicly-funded separate school system.

Tim Hudak – in over his head.

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The Ontario Catholic School Board supporters had an email campaign, I guess…

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Update- so here’s some proof of an organised campaign.

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So. There is this website that the Ontario Liberals have set up called “Common Ground” that is designed to elicit comments from Ontarians on new policy directions. This is not a bad idea. But good ideas can be hijacked by special interests who would clearly be positively or negatively affected by a certain proposed policy. Such is the case with the idea called Merging the Public and Catholic School Boards.

Anyone who has passed through this blog in the past may have wandered by a post(s) where I have derided Ontario’s two Board system as discriminatory and wasteful.  So, I checked this idea about a week ago after hearing it mentioned on CBC Radio one morning. Happily, and not unexpectedly, the positive response (you get to vote for an idea either positively or negatively) was through the roof. This idea had one of the biggest positive uptakes only a week ago and now look at what’s happened.

I’d LOVE it if someone went public with the email that surely went out to Catholic Boards, the teachers and the unions urging members to go on-line and vote against this idea whose time has come. But no matter, this government has been clear that it has no interest in changing Ontario’s wasteful and discriminatory dual board system.

 

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Friday miscellany…

Friday, January 25th, 2013

… colder than Vic Toews at a homeless shelter edition.

Robbie’s Follies… Will he stay or will he go? We’ll know this morning.

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As I am apt to do once in a while
, I lamented the absence of a party leader, outside the GPO, with the balls to start the process of abolishing Ontario’s discriminatory and wasteful dual school system. A commenter came back saying that maybe I should be looking for a leader without balls (i.e., a woman).

Now it looks very likely that this will be the case as the OLP holds their leadership vote this weekend

Will the new leader move on the separate school file? Doubtful. But one can only hope.

For those of you who are interested, Scott and some other Progressive Bloggers will be live blogging from the convention and streaming photos at ProgressiveBloggers.ca (Twitter account is @Prog_Blog).

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The Americans “get” it.

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State nominee John Kerry calls global climate change a “life-threatening issue” and says the United States must play a key role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming

I never thought I’d see the day when Canada was an environmental laggard behind nations like the U.S. Sigh.

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Here is what happens when you rely too much on the performance of one economic activity to base your fiscal policies on.

EDMONTON – Alberta Premier Alison Redford, in her first TV address, warned Thursday of tough fiscal times and multibillion-dollar revenue shortfalls due to the “bitumen bubble.”

She said the bubble — the difference between the benchmark price for oil in North America versus Alberta’s oilsands bitumen — has grown so wide it will take a $1-billion bite out of this year’s budget and $6 billion the next.

“As we prepare this year’s budget, it means we have to make some very difficult choices,” Redford said in the eight-minute TV spot aired around the province.

I don’t mind Premier Redford. She is preferable to some of the right wing whack-jobs you can find out there in the foothills. But I’m sure most non-Albertans aren’t shedding any tears over Alberta’s financial woes.

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YIKES!!!!

ezra-levant_1

Scared ya, didn’t I!

 

Sun News Network, that fearless foe of state subsidies for the CBC, wants you, Dear Television Viewer, to directly subsidize it to the tune of $18 million a year.

Have no doubt, that’s just the beginning, but it would nicely cover losses the company says now amount to a modest $17 million a year — hardly a corporate killer, one would think, but apparently enough to get Sun News queuing up at the public trough.

Hypocrites.

 

 

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So Bill 115 has…

Friday, January 4th, 2013

…imposed “collective agreements” on Ontario teachers. And this has likely poisoned the relationship between the Ontario government and its teaching professionals for years to come.

One cannot help but wonder if this measure would have been needed if the province were to abandon its duplicate,
discriminatory and wasteful system of two school infrastructures.

I guess we’ll never know until a government has the balls to look at this issue from a non partisan and objective point big view

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Awesome motion passed by the OCDSB last night!

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

… especially point “C”.

It won’t make a hill of beans of a difference, but the Board said what needed saying.

Thanks to @nancy_akehurst for the pic.

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Teachers and extracurricular activities

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Teachers in many of Ontario’s School Boards have heeded their union’s advice to take a “pause” from coaching or otherwise being involved in extracurricular activities, such as sports team, in protest of the Ontario government’s recent legislation imposing salary freezes, etc. And, as is always the case in any type of labour disruption in the education sector, the students are the ones who feel it the most.

So what to do?

The teachers are well within their rights to hold back these unpaid services. They are paid to deliver a provincially-mandated curriculum to the students and anything outside this is unpaid labour. So I can’t argue with their frustration over having bargaining rights taken away and their reaction. This is the only legal tool they have.

So if teachers are – at least temporarily – out of the picture, who picks up the slack?

Parents?

Maybe. But those parents who are active in the community and the likely suspects to step up and coach the Junior boys soccer team are already stretched for time. I know. I’m one of them. That is the case in my little corner of Ottawa and I suspect it the same elsewhere. There might be a bit of a community pool to draw from, but it would come nowhere near to filling the gap left by the teachers.

As well, there is the whole security issue around having parents lead these teams without some sort of oversight, as in police checks.

Trustee for zone 3, Donna Blackburn, said she has been inundated with phone calls from parents who were frustrated about the parameters of volunteering and the deadlines for getting involved.

Adams said all volunteer coaches and assistant coaches need to go through a process, including police checks.

“Our No. 1 priority is student safety,” Adams said.

The deadline for winter sports is Oct. 31, she said, and that the board will work with principals to get the information about volunteering out to parents and other interested members of the community.

So, for all practical purposes, parents and other members of the community might help, but only a bit.

A logical longterm solution might be to have the teachers play a supporting role only and hire professional coaches who could manage a few different sports. But that would cost money and neither the Boards nor the province have any dineros to spare these days… unless…. hmmm…

We DO have this wasteful and discriminatory duel education system in Ontario… I wonder if there could be adequate cost-savings realised by MERGING the public and seperate Boards? Hmmmm?

Of course we don’t know the extent of the cost savings because no government has had the balls to do an independent, unbiased analysis of our publicly funded education system. Even if the savings were only $20 or $30 million annually, that would hire a few hundred pro coaches at 60K a pop or so.

Just sayin’…

 

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More and more…

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

… I’m thinking about getting involved with the Green Party of Ontario.

They are the only Ontario political party who has taken a rational stance on our wasteful and discriminatory duplicate system of education.

Party leader Mike Schreiner wants a public commission to study the best way of amalgamating the separate and public systems into one French and English organization.

Schreiner was in Waterloo Region Wednesday supporting Kitchener-Waterloo Green party candidate Stacey Danckert. The pair spoke to the media from Danckert’s backyard.

Ontario is the only province that funds one religious school system at the exclusion of all others and it needs to stop, Schreiner said.

“Is it fair that public dollars go to an organization that excludes two-thirds of the eligible teachers of being hired based on religion?” he said. “Where else in our society would we allow that?”

Instead, all three “old” parties at Queen’s Park refuse to talk about the contentious issue and choose to “slam the door on even having a conversation about this.”

I like the cut of this guy’s jib… gonna have to look a bit more carefully at their other policies. But, if you have ever been here before, you will know that this is a big issue for me.

 

 

 

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So the Ontario provincial government…

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

… is threatening to take away the power of locally-elected school boards if they do not come to the same contract agreements as did the province with the Catholic Board?

In a memo obtained by The Globe and Mail, assistant deputy minister of education Gabriel Sékaly directs the boards to reach a deal with the unions before the start of the 2012-2013 school year and requires them to work within a contract framework established by the Ministry of Education and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association.

 

 

The memo suggests that school boards could be facing a provincial takeover if they do not sign teacher contracts within the next six weeks, consequences a government spokesman would neither confirm nor deny.

Tell ya what, Mr. Premier, how about you start moving toward the abolition of separate school funding before you remove local control over local education. OK?

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Way to go!

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Woo hoo!

But wouldn’t it be more cost-effective to have only ONE teacher’s union to deal with?

 

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