Make the case for one Ontario School System

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wage zombie
Make the case for one Ontario School System

continued from here:http://www.rabble.ca/babble/central-canada/socialist-case-funding-cathol...  

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Most the key arguments, some of which I personally would emphasize more than others:

http://www.onessn.org/newbrochure.pdf

What do you say to this?

It's a start.  Most of that brochure is about the problems with the Tory plan more than advocacy for an amalgamation plan.  I would say the website itself with the more current content is a much better link to give people than the brochure, it looks like there's a good amount of resources there.

 Here's a good link:

http://www.onessn.org/OSS%20poster.pdf

There are some numbers there too.  Overall i am pretty impressed.

I'd say linking to that site and showcasing different resources on that site here on babble, yeah that's really useful.

I think many people would be very happy if the NDP were to be successful in the next election while having some kind of amalgamation phase in plan in their platform.  Whether that's possible seems to be the question for people right now.

I think it's pretty unconnected with the leadership campaign though.  I think there are more significant things to be talking with the candidates about.  Perhaps if any of them had come out in favour of amalgamation (rather than just in favour of talking about it) it may have been different.

 I don't think the choice of leader will have much of an effect on whether this issue comes forward.  I think if onessn activists (not really sure to call the group of people actively seeking amalgamation) are organized and industrious, they could be building the case in the public mind over the next few years and make a hard pitch at the convention in 2011.  If the membership can be won over then i think it would become a priority--but it has to be a good pitch because it's only going to happen once.  If the NDP are timid then what they need is a plan in which to feel confident.

I think the www.onessn.org site is good, they could've picked a better domain, and they definitely need to update more often.  I think they should add a blog to add a more personal component to the site.  That way, even if there's not much going on, once a week there's a blog post that summarizes a document in their resources.  They've got a lot of resources so that's a lot of easy posts to write.  A couple people writing makes people feel more engaged too.

The copyright sign says 2007 though. 

Lord Palmerston

This letter to Kathleen Wynne by Alan Borovoy and Noa Mendelsohn Aviv of the CCLA raises some good points as well.

 http://www.ccla.org/schoolfunding/letter-religious-schools.pdf

 

Fidel

I think one or both old line party leaders should grow spines and dare to piss off voting Catholics in Ontario with a secular school system once and for all. It's either that or fix the school funding formula. And that'll happen about the same time hell freezes over.

Lord Palmerston

Interesting...you want the old-line parties to be to the left of the NDP on this issue?

Unionist

Is there a way to discuss this issue without yapping on and on about these political parties? I'm not referring to you, LP.

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Unionist wrote:

Is there a way to discuss this issue without yapping on and on about these political parties? I'm not referring to you, LP.

 

 

Perhaps this thread with the appropriate title and some non-partisanship it could be possible.  I'll give you 10-1 odds on no.  I'm not referring to you Fidel.

Doug

It's a simple matter of equity. Either we have to fund all forms of religious schooling or none of them. I might be amused to see who gets elected to the Satanic School Board, but we'll all probably be rather less amused when taxes go up to pay for the plethora of new educational bureaucracies.

NorthReport

Maybe not supporting one secular school system for all is why the NDP is basically dead in Ontario, and has been for a long, long time now.

Time to wake up and smell the roses. Try something different for a change, something with principle, and enough with living in the past, this is the 21st century, not the 18th. Create some exccitement, some buzz with some exciting new progressive policies to go along with your band new leader. Seriously, and in all honesty, what do you have to lose!!!

Jesus, doesn't the ON NDP ever get tired of losing. And I don't mean losing closely, but basically getting slaughtered since when, was it 1995. That's close to 15 years ago, and it appears it is going to be the same ole story for the next 15 years.

 

Fidel

Lord Palmerston wrote:
Interesting...you want the old-line parties to be to the left of the NDP on this issue?

Who pandered to the Catholic vote for several decades in a row?

The NDP isnt in government pandering to Catholics now, and it's not the NDP shortchanging the public school system by $1.2 billion dollars or whatever the amount is today.

And it is interesting that you want to post tongue-in-cheek like this when the reality is we're still dealing with another old line party legacy, an obsolete electoral system invented before electricity and causing parties to have to play these stupid politicks as a result. Well, I say it looks good on them. If you dont appreciate impotence at Queen's Park, then the solution is simple: dont vote for it!

Unionist

I asked for non-partisan discussion - but NorthReport's post will do in the meantime! Well said.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

NorthReport wrote:

Maybe not supporting one secular school system for all is why the NDP is basically dead in Ontario, and has been for a long, long time now.

Time to wake up and smell the roses. Try something different for a change, something with principle, and enough with living in the past, this is the 21st century, not the 18th. Create some exccitement, some buzz with some exciting new progressive policies to go along with your band new leader. Seriously, and in all honesty, what do you have to lose!!!

Jesus, doesn't the ON NDP ever get tired of losing. And I don't mean losing closely, but basically getting slaughtered since when, was it 1995. That's close to 15 years ago, and it appears it is going to be the same ole story for the next 15 years.

 

Yep, great policy with the economy in the tank.  Let's worry about divisive politics.  How about you all come up with some ideas for the unemployed.  (Don't see 1/10th of the posts compared to this thread)

 

I think that might resonate a bit more with Ontario. 

 

When the economy is in better shape this objective will gain much more momentum.

Fidel

NorthReport wrote:

Maybe not supporting one secular school system for all is why the NDP is basically dead in Ontario, and has been for a long, long time now

Ontario was a conservative province for 50 years to Mike Harris/Eves.

We're experimenting with Liberals since 2003.

McGuilty's Liberals have 22% of registered voter support under them and 100% of power in a traditionally conservative province within a formerly Liberal country experiencing yet another neoliberal ideology-induced downturn. 

And more and more Ontarians arent impressed. 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

And you invoked Jesus in your sermon.

NorthReport

This school issue, and I don't mean to pick on Ontario, seems like a golden opportunity for the NDP to gain some serious credibility and support, at least in provinces where they are not doing well, or don't even exist. The NDP has to walk the talk. If we don't, what does it say about our principles? 

I grew up in Quebec, went through the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal system (WHOM I BLAME FOR NOT TEACHING ITS STUDENTS TO BECOME BILINGUAL AND LEARN THE LANGUAGE OF THE MAJORITY IN QUEBEC), and would have preferred a bilingual school system across Canada at that time. Alas that was not to be, and I'm frustrated that Trudeau couldn't achieve that, although to be fair it is constitutionally provincial jurisdiction. And let's not forget Trudeau to get his Charter cut a deal with Premier Davis to allow the RC school system to expand in Ontario. What was Trudeau thinking!

Fidel

The NDP doesnt have to do anything to risk Francophone support by our 19th century electoral system. We can simply let the neoliberalizers drown in their own pile o' shit while scooping up  disaffected voters along the way. 22 percent in '011 is the high water mark.

Yes we can!

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

No need to yell, I would have loved learning more French as it seemed one of the easier subjects.

 

I'd love to hear more without parties being involved.  It's great to promote this idea but not at the expense of the NDP.  My tinfoil hat is buzzing.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Canadian Civil Liberties Association brief on the public funding of religious schools, September 21, 2007 [Executive Summary]:

• Public funding of religious schools could weaken the public school system and undermine its contributions to the vitality of our democracy.

• Having opened its doors to everyone, regardless of wealth, status, race, religion, and ethnicity, the public school system has performed an integrative and unifying function for Ontario society.

• Within living memory, this country jailed thousands of innocent Japanese Canadians, denied many aboriginal people the right to vote, restricted immigration from developing countries, and turned back Jewish refugees from Hitler's Germany. There is no reason to believe such behaviour could never again be possible.

• Our community must work to shore up our integrative institutions. One of the most important of these is the public schools.

• If the funding proposal goes ahead, public schools could lose significant numbers of students to the religious schools. If this were to happen, the public schools would no longer be able to perform their integrative role. In time, our community could become a much less tolerant place.

• In the event of such public funding, there may well be no legitimate or effective way to control any hateful or discriminatory messages espoused by particular religious schools. Although our democracy may defend the right of any group to hold and attempt to spread such views, it is repugnant for the public purse to subsidize the exercise.

• The impetus to inspect, monitor, and control religious programs in schools would raise thorny questions about government intervention in religious affairs.

• The sheer costs of funding many religious schools would likely reduce the quality of the entire educational system.

• Contrary to the arguments of some, the current public funding of Catholic schools cannot justify the critical risks associated with the proposal to fund more religious schools.

• A constitutional amendment should be enacted to end the anomaly of public financing for Catholic schools.

Accordingly, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association recommends as follows:

(1) At a minimum, there should be no new public funding of any religious schools and

(2) A constitutional amendment should be enacted to terminate the public funding of Catholic schools.

[url=Source[/url]">http://www.ccla.org/schoolfunding/brief-religious-schools.pdf][color=med...

saga saga's picture

I haven't read the previous thread but from what I see it's still a conundrum:

If we fund all religious schools, the only equitable choice, how do we decide what qualifies as a 'religion'? (gulp)

Christian Identity?

Church of the Universe? Cool (lol li'l hammer joke)

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Quote:
As politically astute as Mr. McGuinty may be, he's wrong to be flippant about this issue. Ontario should reconsider its dual system, and the sooner the better. Declining enrolment means all schools are competing for students. In some neighbourhoods, the dual system could result in two half-empty schools instead of one full one. That's inefficient use of public resources.

More important, the dual system is wrong in principle. It is no longer necessary for Ontario to protect a Catholic minority, for the simple reason that the public school system no longer serves a Protestant majority. It is a secular system that serves families of all backgrounds and beliefs. In that context, public funding for Roman Catholic schools is bizarre. If such a system did not exist, would we invent it now?

[url=Ottawa">http://www2.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/editorials/story.html?id=dd3c7... Citizen, April 13, 2007[/url]

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url=The">http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/bullet058.html][... socialist case for one Ontario school system[/url]

Quote:
Socialists have long critiqued religion as an aspect of the power structures that support the existing social and political order. Religion has also underpinned many patriarchical practices that oppress women. And religious majorities have often suppressed religious and national minorities. Socialists have, therefore, been uncompromising on the demand for a secular state and the end to public subsidies of religious institutions. The insistence on a secular state has gone along with firm support for the protection of the rights to practice religion in private life without discrimination, as part of rights of freedom of assembly, and a vigorous defence of religious minorities.

Socialists have also favoured an educational system as a means to develop the capacities of working people. These are not only the technical capacities for work, but also capacities for democratic self-government, and deepening cultural, scientific and political understandings. This is also the special role of teachers in the public school system: they are not merely conveyers of required knowledge, but the facilitators for building critical democratic citizens in the broadest meaning of those ideas.

A universal public school system has been a crucial objective. It is the reason that the private school system that the capitalist and professional classes often resort has been a fundamental target for reform and incorporation within the public system. And it is why socialists have to continually engage in criticism, debate and engagement with public schools and their curricula. Teachers' unions have often been key allies in Ontario in raising issues of both funding and social justice in Ontario schools. Education in capitalist societies has to be continually contested as it is not ground the ruling classes will ever willingly concede.

In the case of Ontario, there clearly should be no funding of any faith-based schools, and this would include the present funding of separate Catholic schools. The public system is already starved for resources and funding religious schools will further weaken it. Full funding of religious schools flies in the face of some of the most elementary principles of modern democratic societies such as the separation of church and state. It reinforces conservatism and weakens equality and human rights. It undermines the integration of students from diverse backgrounds so necessary in today's Ontario....

Private religious beliefs have no place in a public education system. The separation of religion and state is a key element of democratic politics. Every individual has a right to practice religion as they wish - or to be atheists. But the public education system is not the place to do this. It is a place that students from all backgrounds to mix and learn together and to become critical thinking and informed citizens. Parents are, of course, free to send their children for after-school or weekend instruction as they wish. Such teaching should be privately funded and separate from the public system.

The funding of Catholic schools was the result of a constitutional compromise in Canada in the mid-19th century. It dates from an era where national and linguistic rights between French and English were identified with religious rights. This same identification hardly fits Ontario today; it has no place in a modern, secular, liberal democratic society. The extension of funding to Catholic secondary schools in 1984 was a coldly calculated political move by then-Premier Bill Davis, made just as he was about to retire. It was a deal originally cut in private between himself and the then Roman Catholic Cardinal for Toronto. Even Davis's cabinet was unaware of this decision, but the rigidities of Cabinet solidarity pushed into legislation. The deal was hardly an emblem for democratic decision-making. It was sealed by further backroom deals with the Liberals and NDP, scrambling for advantages in minority legislatures, not to reopen the funding issue.

While politically arduous, funding for separate schools in Ontario can be ended without a major constitutional crisis. The existing constitutional clause can be amended by simple pieces of legislation passing the Ontario Legislature and the Federal Parliament. This has been the case in recent reforms in Newfoundland and Quebec. In Newfoundland, the existence of an education system split along religious lines was seen to fuel sectarianism within the larger society and stretched the capacity of the province to provide quality education. With a referendum, all that changed and Newfoundland left 19th century education behind.

It is a shame that neither the Liberals nor the NDP have challenged the funding of Catholic schools in Ontario or the principles on which it is based. Their avoidance of the issue is not based on principle but on vulgar electoral calculation. Their mutual conformity neither advances democracy nor serves the public interest. To their credit, the Green Party is the only party of any size to propose the complete secularization of public education (and it is a crucial factor in their rise in the polls, alongside the clear support for a proportional representation voting system)....

wage zombie

It's good to see the citizen taking the right side on this issue  

Quote:
In some neighbourhoods, the dual system could result in two half-empty schools instead of one full one. That's inefficient use of public resources.

It could happen? Have examples ready for where this would be the case.  This needs to be documented.  People in every community are going to need to know what this would look like for them.

Quote:
More important, the dual system is wrong in principle.

...

In that context, public funding for Roman Catholic schools is bizarre. If such a system did not exist, would we invent it now?

These hypothetical are distractions and not really convincing IMO.  Whether we would invent such a system if it did not exist, that's not the issue.  Make the case.

Now i realize that's the Citizen reporting, not a press release from activists.  I'm just trying to explain what i mean by more details. 

Bookish Agrarian

71,000 Ontarians lost their jobs in February.  More job losses are being announced every day.  Please explain how this issue is even close to important to people when people are afraid of losing their homes, their incomes, their retirement savings and the stress it places on people.  Idiotic focusing on this issue and the divisiviness it would cause during a time of high unemployment doesn't even come close to strong enough.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

wage zombie wrote:

These hypothetical are distractions and not really convincing IMO. Whether we would invent such a system if it did not exist, that's not the issue.  Make the case.

Of course it's the issue! What better case can be made for changing a bad system than to say it's a product of a bygone era that no longer applies today? Once one considers the reasons why such a system would be a bad idea if it didn't already exist, one can can readily see why it should be changed.

Unionist

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

Please explain how this issue is even close to important to people when people are afraid of losing their homes, their incomes, their retirement savings and the stress it places on people.

Excellent! You're right! And therein lies the solution.

The NDP should put forward a progressive, dynamic, bold program aimed at protecting and expanding employment, retirement income, etc. - and I mean bold. (I know, I know, it's the ONDY, but hope springs eternal.)

At the same time, it should include a few democratic reforms, like abolishing separate schools, without any big fuss.

Any other party that dares to challenge the NDP on this and make a big deal out of it will be rejected by the voters, who only care about the economy, their jobs, and their livelihood!!

The timing is perfect. It's now or never.

Lord Palmerston

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

71,000 Ontarians lost their jobs in February.  More job losses are being announced every day.  Please explain how this issue is even close to important to people when people are afraid of losing their homes, their incomes, their retirement savings and the stress it places on people.  Idiotic focusing on this issue and the divisiviness it would cause during a time of high unemployment doesn't even come close to strong enough.

Out of curiosity, how many more people do you think would have decided to "Get Orange" if Tory hadn't "hijacked" the election?   I doubt it would have been much higher, if at all.

 

Fidel

One school system to save us from neoliberal disaster and medieval Catholic inquisition!! (not to be confused with modern day american inquisition and ownership of our old line party politicos)

Lord Palmerston

And in the unlikely event the ONDP had the courage to call for such a democratic reform as one secular school system, would you still be insisting that such a move is "neoliberal" and anti-Catholic Orange Order-style bigotry?

janfromthebruce

I support the consolidation of 4 school systems into 2 systems to better meet the educational program needs of all students and thus promoting excellence in education. It's based on the social democratic principle of equity and fairness to all and promoting tolerance and belongingness. All kids going to school together, learning about what binds them together and learning to respect difference in a safe school environment, where curriculum would foster dialogue across diversity.

And its about consolidation and sharing of resources to meet all student needs.

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

Fidel

Lord Palmerston wrote:
And in the unlikely event the ONDP had the courage to call for such a democratic reform as one secular school system, would you still be insisting that such a move is "neoliberal" and anti-Catholic Orange Order-style bigotry?

No, because at that point it would likely come down to a democratic decision made within the party itself.

But I think that demanding the NDP deal with this particular old line party legacy given the realities of our 19th century electoral system is a bit much considering all the other little problems that persist in this long-time bastion of political conservatism in Ontario.

It's clear which old line parties are responsible for faith-based school funding in Ontario and across Canada. And I continue to support the NDP because they understand which old line party policies need major overhaul first and foremost based on the most urgent needs of Ontarians, like dealing with child poverty, homelessness, soaring unemployment, and last but not least, an inequitable public school funding formula which remains so since the Liberal Party promised to deal with it in 2003 and have not. 

wage zombie

M. Spector wrote:

What better case can be made for changing a bad system than to say it's a product of a bygone era that no longer applies today?

The better case would be to clearly demonstrate that the benefits of changing the system outweigh the costs of changing the system.

Another better case would be to clearly demonstrate that changing to the new system is the will of the majority.

The weakness of your case is that it completely neglects the costs of changing to the new system.  We're not deciding if we want to implement a new Catholic school system, we're deciding if we want to consolidate it into one public system.

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:

[url=The">http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/bullet058.html][... socialist case for one Ontario school system[/url]

Resources

The Conservative proposal, in some estimates, would take $500 million out of an already cash strapped public education system. Expanding public funding for religious schools would undermine the resource base of the entire public school system. After years of underfunding – first by the Harris and Eves' governments and by the McGuinty Liberals – the school system cannot afford a diversion of funds to religious schools. Resources would have to be effectively cut to fund this initiative

So after years of underfunding by our two old line parties, the issue is separate school funding?

That's not my first gut reaction. Because that shouldve read:

 After years of underfunding – first by the Harris and Eves' governments and by the McGuinty Liberals - Ontario's public school system is in a mess and requires more equatible funding across the existing public system.

And the ONDP is the only party pledging to come good on the other two party's broken promises to fix the funding formula.

Unionist

wage zombie wrote:

The better case would be to clearly demonstrate that the benefits of changing the system outweigh the costs of changing the system.

What does "cost" have to do with it? It might be cheaper to bar Protestants from public schools.

Quote:
Another better case would be to clearly demonstrate that changing to the new system is the will of the majority.

Maybe we should put income tax up for referendum too?

The way our political system works is that candidates and parties put forward integral platforms on which they pledge to govern.  Referenda are fine for changing the political system. But it is over-the-top to suggest that separate schools are important enough to have the people decide on this irrespective of their elected representatives.

Let the NDP satisfy itself that this is the will of the majority and then boldly put it forward as part of its platform.

wage zombie

Straw man much? 

Cost does not have to be about dollars.  Making a cost/benefit analysis does not have to be about dollars.  One cost of consolidating the systems would be some instability during the phase in period where people aren't really sure what's going to happen with some processes.  Another cost will be that some schools will be closing and that means for some kids their schools will be closing.

I didn't suggest putting anything up for referendum. The way our political system works is that parties put forth platforms that they feel will be popular with voters.  In cases that do not involve human rights, i think showing that a particular solution is favoured by the people makes a good case for it, assuming that the people have enough information about the choices.  The reason that it's important for an idea like this to have the support of the people is that it's the people who understand the costs of making the change (much better than politicians in Toronto).

Your response is not up to your par.  "Let the NDP satisfy itself"?  The point is the NDP is not satisfied that this is worth prioritizing.  Unless the NDP membership get sold on the idea, by school consolidation activists, the issue won't be part of the platform.  If consolidation activists want the NDP to do something here, they need to build a stronger case than they have done so far.

One could just as easily say let Harper satisfy himself that socialism is the way to go and boldly put a guaranteed minimum income forward as part of their next platform.  Let you satisfy yourself that i'm right here and boldly agree with what i'm saying.  Right.  That's a good way to change someone's mind.

Unionist

wage zombie wrote:

One cost of consolidating the systems would be some instability during the phase in period where people aren't really sure what's going to happen with some processes.

Whatever that means. This is not rocket science. No new students in publicly-funded Catholic schools. All current students can finish if they wish. Gee, that was tough.

Quote:
Another cost will be that some schools will be closing and that means for some kids their schools will be closing.

Really? Got it all worked out, have you? Nothing closes. No one has to leave anything. No disappointments. Everything stays the same. No new students, that's all. I know, it's really complicated, but we'll try to explain it to folks.

Quote:
The reason that it's important for an idea like this to have the support of the people is that it's the people who understand the costs of making the change (much better than politicians in Toronto).

Like same-sex benefits? Do you recall the history of that fiasco in Ontario? Let me know if you require a reminder.

Quote:
Your response is not up to your par.  "Let the NDP satisfy itself"?  The point is the NDP is not satisfied that this is worth prioritizing.

Try to maintain a thought through to conclusion. You spoke of satisfying ourselves that this change had majority support. I said the NDP should satisfy itself of that majority support (if it wishes) and then insert it in its platform. Now you're talking about satisfying itself that it should be a priority!!??? One thought per sentence, please.

Fidel

It is about dollars. This is the most outstanding issue today with public school funding in Ontatrio, not which of the public schools are this label or that one. Parents across Ontario are at their wits end with writing cheques for basic school supplies, extracurricular activities, and things that used to be covered by the province. And now Ontarians are pestered at the door with children selling candy and raffle tickets to replace school funding chiselled away by our two dirty old line parties in government.

The kids are propping up these McGuilty Liberals who are shortchanging them in return.

The neoliberal business model for running public services into the ground efficiently and cost effectively isnt working well around the world, and it's not working here in Canada either. Those jokers in government may well be too timid and weak to tackle this old line party legacy issue for public school funding, but theyre also refusing to fund all public schools adequately and equitably regardless.

McGuinty's Liberals are cowering behind an issue that is secondary to his government's broken promise to fix the public school funding formula.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Fidel, your use of "public schools" and "public education" to include the separate school system - merely because it receives public funds - is dishonest rhetoric.

The public school system that is underfunded is the secular public school system. A large part of the reason it is is underfunded is that education money is diverted to maintaining a parallel religion-based separate school system. There is a good reason why it is called a separate school system - it is separate and apart from the secular public school system. That's the system that should be funded by our secular public government.

It is impossible to underfund a separate school system that should not be funded at all.

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:
The public school system that is underfunded is the secular public school system. A large part of the reason it is is underfunded is that education money is diverted to maintaining a parallel religion-based separate school system. There is a good reason why it is called a separate school system - it is separate and apart from the secular public school system. That's the system that should be funded by our secular public government.

It is impossible to underfund a separate school system that should not be funded at all.

Well now you seem to be making a parallel case for the neoliberal business model of running public sector economy, and at the same time, deflecting blame from the Liberals(again) for continuing to break their election campaign promises to fix the school funding formula.

Separate school students are about a third of total in Ontario and recieving about a third of public school funding.

We also happen to be enjoying multibillion dollar infrastructure deficits in Ontario and across Canada - $130 billion dollars altogether. Are we going to blame separate school funding for this as well as a chronic lack of money for job training and retraining, and money pared back from other areas of social spending?

Or is it simply that the 30 year-old neoliberal ideology and social democracy in general are incompatible? 

Lord Palmerston

M. Spector wrote:

Fidel, your use of "public schools" and "public education" to include the separate school system - merely because it receives public funds - is dishonest rhetoric.

We can't blame him for that.  The same is true of the NDP (and for that matter, the Liberals).

Fidel

The NDP cant promise to fix ALL of the old line party legacy issues in one four year term. Look at McGuilty Liberals, they racked-up well up over 50 broken promises before their first term was up. Can't blame the NDP for being realistic about the shear size and breadth of the neoliberal-old line party mess that needs cleaning up and overhauling.

Unionist

Fixing the Catholic school anachronism will take 5 seconds. No new students, let the existing ones finish.

 

Fidel

Unionist wrote:

Fixing the Catholic school anachronism will take 5 seconds. No new students, let the existing ones finish

Our Liberals would do it now except that theyre clinging to 100 percent of power with just 22% of the registered vote. Fear of not winning a phony majority and "strategic voting" is what rules party politics in Ontario. 

Unionist

No new students. Next kids together. Yes, we can!

 

George Victor

BA: 

"71,000 Ontarians lost their jobs in February.  More job losses are being announced every day.  Please explain how this issue is even close to important to people when people are afraid of losing their homes, their incomes, their retirement savings and the stress it places on people.  Idiotic focusing on this issue and the divisiviness it would cause during a time of high unemployment doesn't even come close to strong enough."

------------------------------------------------------------------------

They could not begin to explain their interest from any practical political position, BA. In Northern Ontario, raising it would guarantee defeat.

 

Ciabatta2

While the slogan is cute, BA and George Victor's comments are more accurate.

David-Marc

I'm having trouble following exactly what is being proposed. And that makes all the difference. The method can make the difference between opposition and support to the idea. 

I'd like to know if what we are proposing is reducing the FOUR systems to TWO or to ONE? The articles cited are either vague or seem to suggest a single bilingual system. This threatens self-determination for the francophone national minority in Ontario. And may even be unconstitutional, depending on what we mean by a bilingual system. Keeping the boards separate (linguistically) is important (i.e. The Francophone "community" should control its education directly - it took decades to get to the point it is now)

Secondly, are we talking about integrating the catholic schools into the public system by making them secular - or are we just removing funding? or some sort of half-way solution somewhere? While it is arguable that the "removing funding" may work on the English side where many communities have both systems. It is dangerous for the French system, and worse, is an assimiliationist policy. Most French school boards are in the catholic system. To remove funding from these is essentially removing funding from the French system. Besides, most communities unless large enough, have only either a Catholic French shcool or a Public French school. To simply do away with the French Catholic system without integrating its schools into the public system can lead to assimilation if the only public shcool in certain areas is an English public school.

You can see why the details of the plan to eliminate catholic school funding are more important than the question of whether to do it or not. In fact, the HOW is the question. One way is progressive and the other isn't.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

The defenders of the reactionary system of public funding for certain religious-based schools challenged the leftists among us to present the case for one single public school system, divided only along language lines (English/French).

Posted above are the civil liberties case, the liberal-democratic case (Ottawa Citizen), and the socialist case.

So we have met the challenge. Nobody seems to have anything to say to refute those three cases, other than "it's too expensive", "it's too unpopular" or "it's not important enough".

In other words, no amount of rational persuasion is going to convince these supporters of an archaic, expensive, divisive, and discriminatory education system that anything should be done to change it.    

Unionist

Gee, we did it overnight in Québec. I guess we're just too simplistic here.

ETA: Sorry, David-Marc, I should clarify that all our discussion here is about eliminating religious public schools. I am certainly not opposed to separate linguistic schools.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

David-Marc wrote:

I'd like to know if what we are proposing is reducing the FOUR systems to TWO or to ONE? The articles cited are either vague or seem to suggest a single bilingual system. This threatens self-determination for the francophone national minority in Ontario.

That is a valid concern. The link to the "socialist" case presented above includes a statement from www.oneschoolsystem.org which clearly says:

Quote:
We seek the elimination of religious discrimination and duplication in the Ontario school system through the establishment of a single publicly-funded school system for each official language (English and French).
This is the socialist postion as well.

Quote:
Secondly, are we talking about integrating the catholic schools into the public system by making them secular - or are we just removing funding?

If you make a catholic school secular it's no longer a catholic school. It's a public school.

Nobody is suggesting that Catholics or Muslims or Seventh Day Adventists should not be allowed to have their own schools. They should be private, not "public" schools (in the sense of being publicly-funded).

Quote:
While it is arguable that the "removing funding" may work on the English side where many communities have both systems. It is dangerous for the French system, and worse, is an assimiliationist policy. Most French school boards are in the catholic system. To remove funding from these is essentially removing funding from the French system. Besides, most communities unless large enough, have only either a Catholic French shcool or a Public French school. To simply do away with the French Catholic system without integrating its schools into the public system can lead to assimilation if the only public shcool in certain areas is an English public school.

This is actually a "Third" issue, and it is a valid one. I don't see why public funds should go to French Catholic schools but not to English Catholic schools. If there is demand for French public (secular) schools then we should provide funding to establish and support them.

French students should not be compelled by circumstance to attend Catholic schools in order to receive an education in their own language. But those who freely choose to do so should not be subsidized by the public.

David-Marc

"If you make a catholic school secular it's no longer a catholic school. It's a public school. "

Yes but, what I meant were the physical schools could become private Catholic schools. Which leads to your "third" issue since most French schools are in the catholic system (8 catholic boards vs 4 public) - the constitutional rights are threatened unless new schools are built to replace them.

"I don't see why public funds should go to French Catholic schools but not to English Catholic schools."

Nor do I. I was not suggesting that. I was in fact wondering if forced "secularisation" of the catholic schools is in any of the plans as was done in Quebec and would solve the problem of having to build new schools to replace them.

Unionist

David-Marc wrote:

Yes but, what I meant were the physical schools could become private Catholic schools.

No, of course not, they belong to the people of Ontario. They will remain public schools, and in fact Catholic instruction should continue during a transitional period, but every "cohort" of new students should be streamed immediately into the secular system.

There is no need to build or destroy any building, at least, not because of this transition.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

I don't believe in forced secularization. If the Catholic school buildings are publicly-owned, they could be sold or rented out at market rates to house private Catholic schools, or the private schools could be evicted and the buildings used as public schools. Where necessary, new schools should be built for the use of the public French school system, unless it is found to be practical to have English and French schools housed in the same buildings.

What the Catholics decide to do about continuing with their parochial schools is their business.

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