Make the case for continued support of the separate school system 2

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Unionist

Ok, saga, here's a link to the [url=Education">http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90e02_e... Act[/url].

The word "indoctrination" never appears in it.

The concept that some functions of a separate school are publicly funded, while others are not - well, you'll have to point me to it, because I couldn't find it.

On the contrary, I did find the following:

Quote:
52.  A Roman Catholic board may establish and maintain programs and courses of study in religious education for pupils in all schools under its jurisdiction. 1997, c. 31, s. 28.

Saga, that says "religious education". It does NOT say, "education about religions."

And the following:

Quote:
230.19  (1)  Nothing in this Part authorizes the Minister to interfere with or control,

(a) the denominational aspects of a Roman Catholic board;

Clear?

Oh, by the way, there's an "opting out" provision for individual students whose parents don't want them reading a particular book or participating in a particular religious exercise:

Quote:
(2)  No pupil in a public school shall be required to read or study in or from a religious book, or to join in an exercise of devotion or religion, objected to by the pupil’s parent or guardian, or by the pupil, where the pupil is an adult. R.S.O. 1990, c. E.2, s. 51 (2).

Guess what else? There is no such provision for separate schools.

Thanks for pointing me to the law, saga. It's a whole lot worse than I thought.

 

janfromthebruce

And the separate school system will tell you that "catholicism" is interwoven throughout their curriculum and in all courses, so it would be "near" impossible to share programs, buildings maybe, as long as the kids are kept in separate classes. Now tell me, in math how is the instruction different in say grade 5.

Anyway, I was waiting for someone to finally check the ED Act for the "facts" as I am quite aware of what the act actually says.

______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

wage zombie

Jan do you believe that it's true that the catholicism is woven throughout the curriculum or do you think they're kidding themselves?  Or would they be saying that to make consolidation seem more difficult?

Unionist

Good question, wz. For example, anyone know what their sex ed looks like?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

janfromthebruce wrote:

Now tell me, in math how is the instruction different in say grade 5.

Well, for one thing, the Catholic kids don't have to learn proofs for Euclidean propositions. They're just true [url=because">http://tinyurl.com/34qdfz][u]because that's how God made the universe.[/url]

Lord Palmerston

Unfortunately I don't think the debate will be occurring in the ONDP, since the prevailing view seems to be "it's not a pressing issue - we can end child poverty or end Catholic school funding, we cannot do both."  Prue (along with Bisson) seems to be on the rightwing of the party.  Of course that leads some people to say "ah-ha, it's not a socialist issue because the 'left' candidates aren't raising it."  To me, that just says how unprincipled the so-called "left" candidates Tabuns and Horwath are.

saga saga's picture

Unionist wrote:

Ok, saga, here's a link to the [url=Education">http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90e02_e... Act[/url].

The word "indoctrination" never appears in it.

The concept that some functions of a separate school are publicly funded, while others are not - well, you'll have to point me to it, because I couldn't find it.

On the contrary, I did find the following:

Quote:
52.  A Roman Catholic board may establish and maintain programs and courses of study in religious education for pupils in all schools under its jurisdiction. 1997, c. 31, s. 28.

Saga, that says "religious education". It does NOT say, "education about religions."

And the following:

Quote:
230.19  (1)  Nothing in this Part authorizes the Minister to interfere with or control,

(a) the denominational aspects of a Roman Catholic board;

Clear?

Oh, by the way, there's an "opting out" provision for individual students whose parents don't want them reading a particular book or participating in a particular religious exercise:

Quote:
(2)  No pupil in a public school shall be required to read or study in or from a religious book, or to join in an exercise of devotion or religion, objected to by the pupil’s parent or guardian, or by the pupil, where the pupil is an adult. R.S.O. 1990, c. E.2, s. 51 (2).

Guess what else? There is no such provision for separate schools.

Thanks for pointing me to the law, saga. It's a whole lot worse than I thought.

 

You're welcome. You'd better check the curriculum too, or regulations, policy ... not sure where it is but there are guidelines for teachers in public schools. Obviously those policies don't affect Catholic schools, and I am as disgusted as you are if their religious materials are publicly funded.

As for being committed to Catholic education ... I just proposed a rational way to end it that might actually work.

An imposed 'edict' won't work.

That's my opinion, and that's my point.

 

janfromthebruce

 I think the REAL issue, whether we are talking about child poverty, school funding, environment, funding for riding associations and so on, should be debated and decided at our convention, by the membership. I support the candidate who believes in supporting democracy by the membership -that NDP leader is Prue.

______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

Lord Palmerston

Andrea Horwath:

Quote:
On Michael Prue's suggestion of re-examining Separate School funding

"I co-chaired that [last] campaign and I watched that train wreck up close and personal and I don't believe we need to spend our time shooting guns at each other on the convention floor. I'm sure there will be some kind of resolution we'll debate but I believe that we need to look at education from the perspective of where are the common pieces and a common piece is the fact that we're still operating under the Harris funding formula; a common piece is that we know that there isn't enough ESL being provided in our schools, there's not enough special ed teachers for kids with special needs, our schools are physically crumbling as we speak, the closure of community schools instead of reopening them to the community so they can become hubs of recreation, of public health and all kinds of other services; the closing of rural schools, pulling out the last bastion of any kind of community activity from these rural communities. Those are the kinds of things that we have common ground on; those are the kind of things that we can build from on common purpose as opposed to the politics of division which I'm so sick and tired of. After Harris and now even McGuinty he's following in the same footsteps in terms of the politics of division that Harris had except maybe a little bit more subtly. I've gotta tell you I don't have time for the politics of division; I have time for the politics of building."

Yeah, we don't want to divide people...let's continue supporting discrimination in public education.  

janfromthebruce

 Sorry Lord Palmerson, that train left the station. This past year the Liberals setup a panel looking at the funding formula in conjunction with declining student enrolment. Recommendations were made such as boards partnering together to - heavan forbid - share buildings, programs, and resources. Another one was that equity in student funding so boards are encouraged to work together rather than compete with one another. Another one that each student rider be treated equally, so that one board cannot provide better bussing than the other.

It's fine and dandy to suggest that we should create more community partnerships and thus schools become hubs. I agree with that concept, except that what are our natural closest allies in the business of education in our communities? Rhetorical question I know but so obvious?

In smaller rural places, there just isn't the community partners to use that surplus space. That concept may make more sense in large urban centres but "falls flat" in northern and rural communities. Partners must also come with "stable funding" to afford to share this space. 

School boards are in the business of providing education "programming" to students. If one has 4 kids entering kindergarten, another down the street has 3 kids entering, and another has 2 kids would you not think it better to have them in the same program and thus better able to optimize the resources and programming to meet their educational needs? 

 The role of public education is to provide universally accessible education opportunities for all students, and to act as an intergrating and unifying function for Ontario society (citizenship). Public schools by opening up to all, regardless of wealth, status, race, religion, and ethnicity provide these dualing functions, and thus it contributes to the vitality of our democracy.

NDP also espouses strong democratic principles at our core. Prue strongly believes in these democratic principles and that the NDP membership should have opportunity to debate the social and economic issues of the day. We can do this respectfully.  

______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

Unionist

Jan, maybe I misunderstood your reply to LP, but I'm quite certain he was not supporting Horwath's comments!

Saga, I'm not going to research "curriculum" or other "regulations" for you, unless you can give me a hint as to where to look. The bottom line is this: Separate Catholic schools, contrary to your earlier comments, are fully funded by the public in exactly the same way as the public boards. Ontarians' taxes pay for Catholic education. Now, if you want to defend the perpetuation of that reality, go ahead, but please don't sugar-coat it.

janfromthebruce

Unionist wrote:

Jan, maybe I misunderstood your reply to LP, but I'm quite certain he was not supporting Horwath's comments!

Saga, I'm not going to research "curriculum" or other "regulations" for you, unless you can give me a hint as to where to look. The bottom line is this: Separate Catholic schools, contrary to your earlier comments, are fully funded by the public in exactly the same way as the public boards. Ontarians' taxes pay for Catholic education. Now, if you want to defend the perpetuation of that reality, go ahead, but please don't sugar-coat it.

oops, thanks Unionist. Sorry LP. Anyway, it was a well reasoned response & also suggests that, although leaders cannot be aware of everything going on, it's good to have substantial background knowledge in what has been going on in a particular area, when one speaks to it.

______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

saga saga's picture

Unionist wrote:

Jan, maybe I misunderstood your reply to LP, but I'm quite certain he was not supporting Horwath's comments!

Saga, I'm not going to research "curriculum" or other "regulations" for you, unless you can give me a hint as to where to look. The bottom line is this: Separate Catholic schools, contrary to your earlier comments, are fully funded by the public in exactly the same way as the public boards. Ontarians' taxes pay for Catholic education. Now, if you want to defend the perpetuation of that reality, go ahead, but please don't sugar-coat it.

Unionist, I challenge you to find any quote from me in this thread or the previous one that indicates that I support the perpetuation of publicly funded Catholic schools.

Perhaps your personal attackn on me is because you are offended that I said your 'edict' approach won't fly?

Tough cookies. It's the truth.  It's bad policy because it can't be implemented that way.

Any policy that is offensive to 1/3 to 1/2 of the population is unlikely to win anybody any popularity contests, and since politics is essentially a popularity contest ... well, it's obvious that any party that tries this top-down, imposed, undemocratic stunt will get demolished at the polls.

My point about curriculum/regulations/policy is simply this: 

We can offer, and accommodate privately funded religious instruction/observance in public schools without fear of 'infiltration' into curriculum, because:

- There is already policy in place that distinguishes indoctrination in a religion from education about religions. If you go to the Ministry of Education website, Curriculum, and search for 'religion', you will find it, and it refers to (amended 1994) Reg. 262 of the Education Act.

http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/document/curricul/religion/religioe.html#PartA

The policy does not permit boards of education to provide indoctrinational religious education. Boards may provide programs in education about religion during the regular school day as follows:

 

- there is already accommodation of religious observance in schools (Muslim students)

Thus, imo, Catholic students can be adequately accommodated in any public school any time, and attracting these students could eventually integrate the two systems without trying to implement a top-down policy. The latter, imo, will be rejected and will create further hard feelings and divisions, destroying any chance of success of any other 'gentler' approach to such integration and possibly hardening positions and thus perpetuating the Catholic system.

 In other words, it is, imo, a top-down imposed 'edict' approach like you suggest (and others, and apparently Michael Prue), that is more likely to perpetuate the Catholic system, by hardening the divisions, than a more gradual approach based on choice.

In my opinion, of course.

Disagree with my opinion, if you choose unionist. But please stop the personal attacks and jumping to false superficial ideologically-based conclusions.

Perhaps I don't fit into easy political pigeon-holes, but life is complex, people even more so, and trying to sort and label people in simplistic ideological categories is a losing game. And so, in my opinion, is trying to impose secular education on people.

I agree with Andrea that there are more important policies/issues to address than this divisive no-win debate.

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

saga wrote:

Unionist, I challenge you to find any quote from me in this thread or the previous one that indicates that I support the perpetuation of publicly funded Catholic schools.

What part of "yanking funding from Catholic schools is not doable" means that you don't support the perpetuation of publicly funded Catholic schools??

Quote:
Any policy that is offensive to 1/3 to 1/2 of the population is unlikely to win anybody any popularity contests, and since politics is essentially a popularity contest ... well, it's obvious that any party that tries this top-down, imposed, undemocratic stunt will get demolished at the polls.

We've already dealt with this argument ad nauseam. [url=Opinion">http://rabble.ca/babble/central-canada/make-case-continued-support-separ... polls[/url] show big support among Catholics for a single secular public education system. And the Green Party increased its popular vote dramatically in the last provincial election, as the only party to oppose funding for Catholic schools.

the grey

M. Spector wrote:

We've already dealt with this argument ad nauseam. Opinion polls show big support among Catholics for a single secular public education system. And the Green Party increased its popular vote dramatically in the last provincial election, as the only party to oppose funding for Catholic schools.

 I haven't seen those polls.  When I googled for such polls, I did find one where Ontario was 47:45 for eliminating funding to Catholic schools, compared to 48:44 in favour of extending funding to all religious schools (http://www.thestar.com/OntarioElection/article/256568) (see also http://erg.environics.net/media_room/default.asp?aID=643). 

 Edited to add - the link M.Spector added doesn't link to a poll, but to a report about a report about a poll that doesn't actually ask about whether the respondents support eliminating the Catholic system.

 Further, if Catholics support eliminating Separate boards, then the place to take the argument is the ballot box in Separate School Board elections -- when Separate School Board trustees start arguing for a single secular system that would be a strong indication of support for this kind of change.

Unionist

Who cares what "Catholics" say in polls?

Maybe we should poll men to see whether women should have the right to vote?

Or how about polling Muslims to see whether Muslim schools should receive full public funding? Will the NDP abide by those wishes?

Québec wiped out Catholic and Protestant public schools without any referenda or ballots, in 1998.  Catholics and Protestants made up a slightly larger percentage of the population than Catholics do in Ontario.

A party which won't take a simple democratic stand on an issue like this will never convince anyone that the Lib-Con musical chair game needs to end.

Unionist

saga wrote:

Unionist, I challenge you to find any quote from me in this thread or the previous one that indicates that I support the perpetuation of publicly funded Catholic schools.

Sorry, saga, the babble moderators will surely be upset if I copy and paste every single word you have posted on this subject. I reject your challenge. Everyone else here can read plain English. You are completely opposed to de-funding of Catholic schools, and you have said so ad nauseam - to the point of (falsely) claiming that Catholic "indoctrination" is not publicly funded right now. Why would you be ashamed of your stand?

Unionist

saga wrote:

Why are their kids are still in Catholic schools then?

Ummmmmmmm.... Lemme guesssss.........

Because it's free maybe!!!???

Make them pay for Catholic indoctrination, and watch the Exodus.

As in Québec and Newfoundland and Labrador, they'll never look back.

Those that really care about God and the Holy Ghost and no birth control and no divorce, etc., will put their money where their souls are, and force their kids to go to private school.

Problem solved - overnight.

 

saga saga's picture

M. Spector wrote:

saga wrote:

Unionist, I challenge you to find any quote from me in this thread or the previous one that indicates that I support the perpetuation of publicly funded Catholic schools.

What part of "yanking funding from Catholic schools is not doable" means that you don't support the perpetuation of publicly funded Catholic schools??

The "yanking" part - ie, We disagree only on what is the method of accomplishing it that is most likely to be successful. In my opinion, abruptly attempting to impose it on people as 'policy' is more likely to harden positions and lead to difficulty making the transition.

Quote:
Any policy that is offensive to 1/3 to 1/2 of the population is unlikely to win anybody any popularity contests, and since politics is essentially a popularity contest ... well, it's obvious that any party that tries this top-down, imposed, undemocratic stunt will get demolished at the polls.

Quote:

We've already dealt with this argument ad nauseam. [url=Opinion">http://rabble.ca/babble/central-canada/make-case-continued-support-separ... polls[/url] show big support among Catholics for a single secular public education system. And the Green Party increased its popular vote dramatically in the last provincial election, as the only party to oppose funding for Catholic schools.

I would suggest working with the 50% of Catholic parents who support a unified system, to see how the (now) secular system can meet their needs. Given their apparent support (in the poll you cite) for a unified system, I think it would be important to find out: Why are their kids are still in Catholic schools then? What is needed for them to move into one system?

I simply disagree with

- a top-down, unilateral policy/platform/legislation method of imposing this change on the Catholic system, without consultation with those affected, and 

- trying to impose secular education on people. I believe we'll have to make allowance for private after-school religious education in public schools, to attract students from both Catholic and private religious schools.

It may be that sufficient support for abruptly removing funding from Catholic schools can be drawn from non-Catholics to satisfy the NDP's purposes. However, I don't agree with political policies that would divide people along religious lines, and of course, I'm not focusing on what's good for the NDP, but what's good for kids and communities.

 I think the 'debate' should revolve around how public schools can accommodate the needs of all children, including those whose parents identify religious instruction as a need. That will increase the chances of actually designing appropriate and palatable policy to bring about one inclusive school system.

I think it is counter-productive to make derogatory comments about Catholicism, or to pass judgment on the choices currently made by Catholic parents, and especially to brand them as hypocrites because they aren't (in someone's opinion) 'religious enough' to need religious education in schools. I see these as arguments that will undermine efforts to bring about one inclusive school system, because they are arguments that are divisive and offensive to some, based as they are in judgments about a religion itself.

Does that clarify?

 

Fidel

We've got to be more fiscally responsible in the NDP, even though the NDP is already proven to be just that. Follow the neoliberal brick road to serfdom, everybody

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

saga wrote:

- trying to impose secular education on people. I believe we'll have to make allowance for private after-school religious education in public schools, to attract students from both Catholic and private religious schools.

I don't know why you keep talking about "attracting" Catholics to the public secular education system, as if it's some kind of marketing challenge.

Frankly, I don't care whether Catholics choose to send their kids to public secular schools or to private religious schools. All I care about is that public dollars should not go to religious schools.

Once the public funding is "yanked" from the Catholic schools, I have no doubt that many Catholics will be attracted to the public secular school system because it's free. And if they want to hire people to teach them Catholicism outside of school hours, I'm sure the public school system will be willing to continue its current policy of making the schools available after hours to any community groups that want to rent space.

But I pause to note that not many Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Pastafarian, or other communities that currently send their children to public secular schools seem to feel the need to have this kind of after-hours indoctrination on the school premises. They tend to do that sort of thing in non-school premises. Why would Catholics be any different?

Quote:
However, I don't agree with political policies that would divide people along religious lines...

Neither do I, but that's exactly what the political policy of funding the Catholic schools does.

Lord Palmerston

M. Spector wrote:
Neither do I, but that's exactly what the political policy of funding the Catholic schools does.

Somebody should inform Andrea Horwath about that.

Fidel

We've got to help the two old line parties gut public services so as to make it easier to privatize down the road. Then we can complain about private enterprise jackals cutting corners to save a buck. And then we can wring our hands as to why poor inner city schools are falling apart in grand USA style. And we'll whine to no end when Suzie cant read because her classmates didnt sell enough chocolate covered peanuts manufactured and packaged in the USSA. That putrid odour of want and ignorance is wafting north over the border even stronger now. 2010 is when we officially cease being a country anymore.

saga saga's picture

Unionist wrote:
saga wrote:

Why are their kids are still in Catholic schools then?

Ummmmmmmm.... Lemme guesssss.........

Because it's free maybe!!!???

Make them pay for Catholic indoctrination, and watch the Exodus.

As in Québec and Newfoundland and Labrador, they'll never look back.

Those that really care about God and the Holy Ghost and no birth control and no divorce, etc., will put their money where their souls are, and force their kids to go to private school.

Problem solved - overnight.

 

You've missed my point again.

jan and others have used the poll of Catholic school parents - indicating that about half of them support one unitary school system - as evidence that many Catholics would support a move to integrate the two systems.

My question was ... If so many of them support a unitary public system, why are they not attending the secular public schools now?

I think it's unwise to assume from that poll that they want funding discontinued for the Catholic system. I think it's important to consult with them about what a unitary system would look like, rather than designing unilateral policy that presumes their support.

 

Fidel

It's a legacy issue. Let the two old line legacy parties deal with it. Catholics cant be any more than about 1.2 million voters in Ontario anyway. And I think they tend to vote Liberal and Tory.

Bubbles

 

Fine to have separation of state and religion, but would a separation between state and education not be equaly important. A state supported public school system gives the state enormous powers to manipulate the democratic process.

 

In my opinion parents should set early education goals and slowly release that power as their children mature and can take responsibillity for their own destiny.

 

Currently it seems to me that the state is very much controled by corporate interests. And as a result current education reflects that corporate bias. Education now seems to be more about job training then about life itself. 

 

 

 

saga saga's picture

Bubbles wrote:

 

Fine to have separation of state and religion, but would a separation between state and education not be equaly important. A state supported public school system gives the state enormous powers to manipulate the democratic process.

 

In my opinion parents should set early education goals and slowly release that power as their children mature and can take responsibillity for their own destiny.

 

Currently it seems to me that the state is very much controled by corporate interests. And as a result current education reflects that corporate bias. Education now seems to be more about job training then about life itself. 

 

So people unable to pay for private education would not be able to send their kids to school?Undecided Is that what you are suggesting?

 

saga saga's picture

M. Spector wrote:

saga wrote:

- trying to impose secular education on people. I believe we'll have to make allowance for private after-school religious education in public schools, to attract students from both Catholic and private religious schools.

I don't know why you keep talking about "attracting" Catholics to the public secular education system, as if it's some kind of marketing challenge.

Because it is. All policy is ultimately a marketing challenge, is it not?

Quote:

Frankly, I don't care whether Catholics choose to send their kids to public secular schools or to private religious schools. All I care about is that public dollars should not go to religious schools.

Once the public funding is "yanked" from the Catholic schools, I have no doubt that many Catholics will be attracted to the public secular school system because it's free.

I don't believe you will be able to pull the funding with a unilateral, authoritarian approach. It simply won't fly. But hey, not my concern. Knock yourself out!

 

Quote:

Quote:
However, I don't agree with political policies that would divide people along religious lines...

Neither do I, but that's exactly what the political policy of funding the Catholic schools does.

Well then work toward change, starting with consulting with the 1/2 of Catholic school parents who want a unitary system.

However, it is my opinion that an imposed 'edict' as people are proposing here simply won't be successful, and will offend people and harden positions making it difficult-to-impossible for any other approach to work anytime soon, perhaps in our lifetime.

You are all free to disagree, of course. It's just my opinion and perhaps some food for thought.

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

saga wrote:

I don't believe you will be able to pull the funding with a unilateral, authoritarian approach. It simply won't fly.

Pulling government funding from things is not rocket surgery. It's something that happens all the time. And the government hardly ever politely asks the de-fundees in advance if it's okay with them. You may call that "authoritarian" but it's the way governments work. What the state giveth it can take away.

Do you suppose that before cutting funding for Status of Women Canada the Harper Tories agonized over whether it would "fly"?

In 1984 (appropriately) the Ontario Conservative government extended public funding to Catholic high schools beyond Grade 10, with the stroke of a pen. Do you imagine there were not a whole lot of noses out of joint as a result of that? It was the beginning of the move towards chronic underfunding of the public school system.

saga saga's picture

M. Spector wrote:
saga wrote:

I don't believe you will be able to pull the funding with a unilateral, authoritarian approach. It simply won't fly.

Pulling government funding from things is not rocket surgery. It's something that happens all the time. And the government hardly ever politely asks the de-fundees in advance if it's okay with them. You may call that "authoritarian" but it's the way governments work. What the state giveth it can take away.

I haven't heard any "government" proposing it. Why do you think that is?

Quote:

Do you suppose that before cutting funding for Status of Women Canada the Harper Tories agonized over whether it would "fly"?

In 1984 (appropriately) the Ontario Conservative government extended public funding to Catholic high schools beyond Grade 10, with the stroke of a pen. Do you imagine there were not a whole lot of noses out of joint as a result of that? It was the beginning of the move towards chronic underfunding of the public school system.

So ... the NDP wants to emulate the Harper tories and the Davis conservatives? What's next ... the Mike Harris Tory NDP policy?

The economic downturn and the backlash against public institutions that followed was hardly the fault of the Catholic school system. Perhaps you can explain to me how the Catholic school system also caused the chronic underfunding of OW?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

I'm out of this thread now. All you are doing is rehashing discussions we've already had in a whole series of recent threads on this topic. I don't feel like reinventing the wheel.

Wilf Day

I've opted out of this discussion because it's all been said, but I just got the latest blast from Malcolm Buchanan -- a sensible fellow when he's not on his anti-Catholic Schools hobbyhorse -- which begs for comment.

As usual, he tries to promote one school system and two school systems simultaneously. The result is to demonstrate his double standard: separate school systems are divisive, except when they aren't.

Quote:
Ontario is a multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-lingual and multi-faith society. Tolerance and understanding of Ontario's present day diverse population cannot be achieved in isolation, but only through interacting with others.

Note "multi-lingual."

Quote:
Especially in the many small rural and northern communities, a single public school system would help break down the barriers that foster differences among Ontario's society and would promote openness and tolerance. . . Multiculturalism should mean respectful and mutually enriching engagement, not physically separate development.

Schools should be places where we tear down the barriers that exist between us and build the bonds that draw us together-democratic, human institutions that serve everyone in our society.

 . . . a single public system would result in huge savings . . .

* Reduction of duplication of services* Better use of school board bussing systems* Better use of existing school board buildings and facilities* Reduction in advertising expenses for competing school boards* Economy through better purchasing practices* Fewer senior/management administrative personnel* Greater program opportunities for students* Better use of teaching and support personnel-particularly in specialized subject areas.

Arguments all too familiar to Ontario francophones during their long battle for francophone schools (google Penetang) and their longer battle for francophone school boards. "Why can't they learn French without being in separate schools? Why can't we be multi-lingual and learn together?"

Yet elsewhere Buchanan acknowledges that francophones have a constititional right to their own schools, and to run their own schools:

Quote:
* Set detailed timelines for the establishment of the new English and French language school boards.

* Determine the appropriate administrative structures for the new English and French language school boards.

That's two school systems, although he craftily manages to avoid using that expression and contradicting his arguments.

Quote:
During the "forced" amalgamations of school boards during the Harris regime procedures were put in place that ensured that there was little or no job loss for any displaced school board employee. These procedures could well be used when Ontario moves to a single public school system.

How reassuring. But I don't recall Malcolm being so impressed with the process at the time, which was sheer hell for everyone.

Unionist

Wilf, you apparently have trouble seeing the difference between public funding of French-language education and public funding of Catholic education. I am convinced that nothing I could possibly say will help you see that difference, if it doesn't come to you spontaneously.

Wilf Day

M. Spector wrote:
In 1984 (appropriately) the Ontario Conservative government extended public funding to Catholic high schools beyond Grade 10, with the stroke of a pen.

And full funding to Catholic Grades 9 and 10, which until then had been funded at the elementary level. 

M. Spector wrote:
It was the beginning of the move towards chronic underfunding of the public school system.

Funny, as a school trustee at the time I recall it as the end of the divisive battle for equal funding, and the start of the four systems working together to seek better funding for all: "equal funding, not equal underfunding."

Which is what the four systems are seeking today, with the support of the NDP, if we don't start getting divisive again.

Unionist wrote:
Wilf, you apparently have trouble seeing the difference between public funding of French-language education and public funding of Catholic education.

The difference is clear to all Ontario francophones. We've had public Catholic education since around 1855 or so. We've had public francophone education, for a much smaller minority, for a much shorter time. Should they feel safe?

Unionist

Wilf Day wrote:

We've had public Catholic education since around 1855 or so. We've had public francophone education, for a much smaller minority, for a much shorter time. Should they feel safe?

No. Ontario francophones should feel that their language and culture are only safe if the Church maintains its power over education.

Likewise, Québec anglophones are living in fear that they will lose their language of choice since 1998, when public Protestant schools were abolished.

When I see an intelligent and dedicated politically active person descend to emotional (to be polite) "arguments" like these, it tells me something about the effect that religion can have when permitted into the public sphere.

Get it out of your public schools, the sooner the better. Like yesterday's hangover, everyone will feel a whole lot better. Especially the Catholic kids.

Fidel

No child left behind!! It's about the kids!!

saga saga's picture

How is it that you speak for the Catholic kids unionist? Just wondering ...

I think wilf's right, and it isn't about emotions, it's about constitutional rights.

I'll bet that discussion's already been had. Thanks for the info, wilf. Not takin a position. ;)

As you know, unionist, I think there are ways that might work, and ways that won't. Telling Catholics, kids or otherwise, what you think they think or what they should think or should do, just isn't a way to achieve what you want to achieve, imo. 

 

Unionist

If you remember my posts, I don't care what "Catholics think". This is Canada, not the Holy See. This is a modern society, and we don't close our collective eyes and walk backwards into the darkness.

I'm finished with trying to deal with your shifting sands of argument. Now Wilf has bequeathed a "constitutional" argument, which you eagerly adopt without understanding. Good luck to you.

Fidel

Unionist wrote:

 This is a modern society,

Ha! Good one. If we're a modern society, then what are we still doing with an obsolete electoral system?

And the red chamber has no place in a modern democracy.

saga saga's picture

Unionist wrote:

If you remember my posts, I don't care what "Catholics think". This is Canada, not the Holy See. This is a modern society, and we don't close our collective eyes and walk backwards into the darkness.

I'm finished with trying to deal with your shifting sands of argument. Now Wilf has bequeathed a "constitutional" argument, which you eagerly adopt without understanding. Good luck to you.

Quote:
Get it out of your public schools, the sooner the better. Like yesterday's hangover, everyone will feel a whole lot better. Especially the Catholic kids.

I did not taking a position on the constitutional issue. 

What you call "shifting sands" is perhaps about adapting policy and timing and methods to human environment, so you can achieve your goals.

 

Bubbles

saga wrote:
Bubbles wrote:

 

Fine to have separation of state and religion, but would a separation between state and education not be equaly important. A state supported public school system gives the state enormous powers to manipulate the democratic process.

 

In my opinion parents should set early education goals and slowly release that power as their children mature and can take responsibillity for their own destiny.

 

Currently it seems to me that the state is very much controled by corporate interests. And as a result current education reflects that corporate bias. Education now seems to be more about job training then about life itself. 

 

So people unable to pay for private education would not be able to send their kids to school?Undecided Is that what you are suggesting?

 

 

 Not realy.  We are a real sorry lot if, in order for us to be able to live and play together, we all need identical/similar education. We are confronted with serious environmental limitations due to an unsustainable life style.

 

Now look at our biospere. It turns out that the oldest and most stable environment turns out to also the most diverse, the tropical jungle. Maybe we should learn a lesson from that and promote a great diversity of life styles in order to be able to make the best use of available resources and energy. Are we going to likely get there if we send our kids to a standardized school? Are our kids as a consequence not more likely going to want all similar things?

 

Personally I like to see far more educational choises, not just one standard public school format.

 

Our current educational system is not free, as some suggested, we all contribute. There is no reason why our contributions have to all go in one standard public school system. Why should a kid that attends a church service first thing in the morning in school, to experience the power of tradition and story telling, not get along with a kid that goes in a school garden to experience the power of the sun? 

Unionist

Bubbles wrote:

Now look at our biospere. It turns out that the oldest and most stable environment turns out to also the most diverse, the tropical jungle.

One prime purpose of parochial schools is to ensure kids don't marry outside the faith. We also know that different species don't intermarry among plants and animals - it's the very definition of when species diverge, in fact. So Bubbles' diverse tropical jungle analogy is perfect. Nature is taking such a long time to splinter homo sapiens up. God will certainly appreciate a helping hand from Bubbles' smorgasbord education system.

Quote:
Why should a kid that attends a church service first thing in the morning in school, to experience the power of tradition and story telling, not get along with a kid that goes in a school garden to experience the power of the sun? 

That's so beautiful. I never realized that the Catholic students weren't allowed into the garden, and the public school kids had to be atheists. We should have a separate school system for every child, even those from the same family. We must cherish individual differences and let them flourish. Make Darwin proud!

 

janfromthebruce

Unionist wrote:

Who cares what "Catholics" say in polls?

Maybe we should poll men to see whether women should have the right to vote?

Or how about polling Muslims to see whether Muslim schools should receive full public funding? Will the NDP abide by those wishes?

Québec wiped out Catholic and Protestant public schools without any referenda or ballots, in 1998.  Catholics and Protestants made up a slightly larger percentage of the population than Catholics do in Ontario.

A party which won't take a simple democratic stand on an issue like this will never convince anyone that the Lib-Con musical chair game needs to end./quote]

 There appears to be some issue on polling, however, as more voters got into the election race, there was a huge shift that happen. 

Go to one public system, panel says (Torstar, Oct 8/07). I guess the gods, I mean the polls must be "crazy." Oh, my

"Taxpayers should no longer fund Catholic schools, says an overwhelming majority of a Toronto Star Advisers panel. With school funding a hot-button issue in the campaign leading to Wednesday's election, 70 per cent of the panel said Ontario should end public support of Catholic schools in favour of one taxpayer-funded public school system."

No wonder in the dying days of the election the Toronto Star came out with advocating One school system in both English and French.

______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

Wilf Day

Unionist wrote:
Get it out of your public schools, the sooner the better. Like yesterday's hangover, everyone will feel a whole lot better. Especially the Catholic kids.

See, that's your problem. You want to tell Catholics what's best for their kids.

I think it would be best for their kids to be raised as atheists. But what I think doesn't matter at all. The rights of a minority group do not depend on the view of the majority, in a state that understands and respects the rights of minorities.

Catholics run their schools, by electing school trustees that control them. The church controls the schools only to the extent that the trustees allow it to. Lots of those trustees are New Democrats. They decide what is best for their schools and the kids in them. I don't have a vote, nor do you.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

The use of Catholics as a minority here is disingenuous unless you voted for John Tory last election.

janfromthebruce

 New Democrats have always been big supporters of non-discrmination and champions of non-discrimination. We also are champions of Canadian Civil Liberaties Association, and thus I bring you the voice of the champion of civil liberaties. 

Excerpts from Alan Borovoy, letter to Honourable Kathleen Wynne,  dated September 21, 2007:

"No matter what happens in the forthcoming elections, the situation is such that this issue is not likely to fade from the scene. As long as the Roman Catholic separate schools remain fully funded out of the public purse, the other religious communities will feel like victims of unjust discrimination.

It is worth noting that the Catholic funding arrangement was inherited, not initiated, by contemporary Ontario society. This arrangement owes its origin to a 140 year old bargain between the groups that founded this country. It was never designed to favour them at the expense of anyone else; it was designed to iron out the equities between them. Thus, it cannot legitimately operate so as to justify all the risks and disadvantages in the current proposal to fund all religious schools.

The historic anomaly of Catholic funding should not be resolved by any measure that would be likely to worsen the situation. Accordingly, there is no adequate argument for – and many valid arguments against – the idea of funding all religious schools. Having said that, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association believes that the time is ripe to reassess the merits of Catholic school funding. The circumstances in today’s Ontario differ quite substantially from those that obtained in pre-Confederation Upper Canada. In today’s multi-religious, multi-cultural, and heterogeneous Ontario, there is simply no justification – if ever there was one – for conferring special benefits on the Catholic community. Both Quebec and Newfoundland initiated constitutional amendments that effectively disbanded the public Catholic and other religious school systems then in place" (p.2).

It is important, therefore, to repeal this anomaly. No religious schools in this province should receive public funding. We urge the government of Ontario to begin the process of constitutional amendment so that the anachronism of Catholic school funding will be eliminated (p.3).

Amen. If we are to review the list of Letters issued by the CCLA positions, from 2009 to 1993, NDP supporters, members, and our constitution completely mirror those identical positions. Do our positions on policy thus - whether education, health, economy and others - mirror our constitutional principled statements?

 The time is ripe for the ONDP to reassess the merits of Catholic school funding.

______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

Unionist

Wilf Day wrote:

Unionist wrote:
Get it out of your public schools, the sooner the better. Like yesterday's hangover, everyone will feel a whole lot better. Especially the Catholic kids.

See, that's your problem. You want to tell Catholics what's best for their kids.

Actually, I was just expressing an opinion. Am I allowed?

Like, some parents in the U.S. might like to send their kids to all-white schools. I might say: "Integrate all the schools, and everyone will feel a whole lot better - especially the white kids."

So, am I telling those white parents "what's best for their kids"?

Or, parents who like to send their sick children to be "healed" by some evangelist rather than to our public health care system. When the police come to pick them up for child abuse, are we telling those "parents" what is best for their kids?

Or, when we decline to full publicly fund Muslim and Zoroastrian high-school education - is this some message to Muslim and Zoroastrian parents?

No, I'm actually not talking to any of those parents at all. I'm giving a view on how society should be organized, and a view that people will all be better off for it.

You're playing some odd cards here though, Wilf, like "don't tell parents what's best for their kids". You think society's policy regarding children should be set, or vetoed, by their parents? Not in my society, thank you very much.

janfromthebruce

Wilf Day wrote:

Lots of those trustees are New Democrats.

Really - how many????

Considering that in the last election, the Catholic Trustee Association was on record in supporting extending public funding for other religions, thus fraturing our education more, and thus protect their "funding privelege", it would appear they supported Tory's position, and by default, Liberal's position of the status quo. ______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

janfromthebruce

Wilf Day wrote:

Funny, as a school trustee at the time I recall it as the end of the divisive battle for equal funding, and the start of the four systems working together to seek better funding for all: "equal funding, not equal underfunding."

Funny, Snobleton, former Education Minister didn't share that anology of "creating equity" in why he created 4 systems.

See John Snobleton article in "Education Platform about more than funding (2007).

before the funding formula the public and Catholic systems competed for funding; now they compete based on student achievement.

It was creating a different kind of competition and had nothing to do with equity. So now boards compete for "student bodies" from the same declining student population in overlapping geographical areas. Snobleton didn't mention "equity" once in his article.  ______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

janfromthebruce

 Fund all faith-based schools, bishops urge 'Parents have the right' to make choices, Catholic leaders say. Ottawa Citizen article in 2007. And the bishops give the marching orders to the Ontario Catholic trustee Association. ______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

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