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Ford should merge the public and Catholic school systems


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If Ford is truly looking to reduce costs then it is time to merge the Catholic and public school systems. In 2012 a report by the Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods calculated that a merger would save $1.2 - $1.5 billion annually, by reducing administration, transportation and infrastructure costs. An essay submitted by Western University professors suggests the move is now supported by a majority of Ontarians and could even be less contentious than the PC move to scrap the current health curriculum. 

In my opinion, the merge is long overdue for a variety of reasons so hopefully the man who claims he will defend taxpayer dollars with save us a billion or so.

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1 hour ago, capricorn said:

I would like that as well. Problem is a court challenge against such action would be successful. It goes way back to the "two founding nations" principle and entente when Canada came to be.

According to the article this problem would be easy to amend and Quebec, Manitoba and Newfoundland have already done so.
 

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Trosow notes that Quebec, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador have all done away with their Catholic system, and that despite what most people believe, there is no constitutional guarantee that an education be provided through the lens of faith. 

"Section 93 of the 1867 Constitution gives the denominational schools certain rights," he said. "It's typically thought of as something that takes this whole discussion off the table. 

"What a lot of people don't realize is this would be particularly easy to amend," he said. "In this case, all that would be needed would be a simple resolution from the Ontario government and that would have to be accepted by the federal Parliament." 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Slick said:

If Ford is truly looking to reduce costs then it is time to merge the Catholic and public school systems. In 2012 a report by the Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods calculated that a merger would save $1.2 - $1.5 billion annually, by reducing administration, transportation and infrastructure costs. An essay submitted by Western University professors suggests the move is now supported by a majority of Ontarians and could even be less contentious than the PC move to scrap the current health curriculum. 

In my opinion, the merge is long overdue for a variety of reasons so hopefully the man who claims he will defend taxpayer dollars with save us a billion or so.

Ford would simply need to ask the Federal Government to strike it from the Constitution Act and I imagine the Federal Government would accept.

 

It might take time to wind through the system, but it could be done.

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There would be virtually no savings, except in terms of having fewer directors.  You would still need roughly the same number of schools, teachers, and administrators.  Having the two systems gives parents choice at the secondary level and provides healthy competition.  Ontario has one of the best elementary and secondary education systems in the world.  I wouldn’t mess with it.  Yes and there are also constitutional protections.  Are no Canadian cultural traditions sacred anymore?

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Our system of separation is a strictly biased religious one. The Catholic school system actually DOES have unusually better funding that enables it unusual advantages over the public system. This separation is actually one of the major factors that proves our system of "Multiculturalism" is a theocratic one, not one that is intended to promote variety. It must be abandoned but the Federal government can overturn this by the Constitution should Ford do anything regardless. So while I'd agree this system should be removed, Ford would not succeed. Assuring this is the Trudeau government to which Pierre Elliot set this constitution in play precisely to CONSERVE the catholic religious powers through inheritance of Canada in law.

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On 7/28/2018 at 10:39 AM, Zeitgeist said:

There would be virtually no savings, except in terms of having fewer directors.  You would still need roughly the same number of schools, teachers, and administrators.  Having the two systems gives parents choice at the secondary level and provides healthy competition.  Ontario has one of the best elementary and secondary education systems in the world.  I wouldn’t mess with it.  Yes and there are also constitutional protections.  Are no Canadian cultural traditions sacred anymore?

A report calculated 1.2 - 1.5 billion per year in savings. The savings would come from reduced transportation costs, axing the administration costs of an entire school board and the more efficient allocating students to the many under utilized school buildings in the rural and suburban areas.

The constitutional protections could easily be undone and like Quebec, Manitoba and Newfoundland have done, it's time we correct the mistake of publicly funding a school system for one religion.

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On 7/28/2018 at 10:54 AM, Scott Mayers said:

Our system of separation is a strictly biased religious one. The Catholic school system actually DOES have unusually better funding that enables it unusual advantages over the public system. This separation is actually one of the major factors that proves our system of "Multiculturalism" is a theocratic one, not one that is intended to promote variety. It must be abandoned but the Federal government can overturn this by the Constitution should Ford do anything regardless. So while I'd agree this system should be removed, Ford would not succeed. Assuring this is the Trudeau government to which Pierre Elliot set this constitution in play precisely to CONSERVE the catholic religious powers through inheritance of Canada in law.

I don't expect to see the Feds stepping in to protect the separate school system if Ford goes down the road to removing it.

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1 hour ago, Slick said:

I don't expect to see the Feds stepping in to protect the separate school system if Ford goes down the road to removing it.

If they don't want to set a precedence, they WILL. Our Constitution was purposely written specifically to conserve the religious (/cultural) interests of the specific 'heritage' of the Catholic and Anglican churches and to those most especially with bilingual interests. We do NOT have an equal to the American's First Amendment.

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Actually most Catholic and public school boards share transportation.  The notion of hundreds of millions, let alone billions, in savings by merging boards is pure fiction. Any politician who seriously tries to dismantle these two successful systems is playing with fire and dead politically.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. 

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6 hours ago, Zeitgeist said:

Actually most Catholic and public school boards share transportation.  The notion of hundreds of millions, let alone billions, in savings by merging boards is pure fiction. Any politician who seriously tries to dismantle these two successful systems is playing with fire and dead politically.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. 

Except that work was done to estimate the savings and the system is broke.

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11 hours ago, Scott Mayers said:

If they don't want to set a precedence, they WILL. Our Constitution was purposely written specifically to conserve the religious (/cultural) interests of the specific 'heritage' of the Catholic and Anglican churches and to those most especially with bilingual interests. We do NOT have an equal to the American's First Amendment.

How were Quebec, Manitoba and Newfoundland able to end public funding for a religious school system?

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It's amusing to see people continue to debate this issue, thinking anything will change. The Liberals were in power for 15 effing years and they didn't even entertain changing the system. 

Families like having the option of sending their kids to a poor man's private school. You don't even really need to be Catholic to go to a Catholic school. 

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Very true, Boges.  Ontario has a great system.  I actually can't get over the innovations in education happening in Ontario.  New IB and arts schools are opening up, schools combined with community centres, public libraries and swimming pools.  Some public and Catholic schools are sharing fields and some facilities.  We'll see more of that where possible.  We have the best elementary and secondary education systems in the English speaking world.   The main focus in education right now should probably be STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math).  We need to work creatively across disciplines, start thinking more laterally, and in terms of collaboration, which is how great work gets done on project teams in the workplace.  That should help boost math scores.  Math is an ongoing challenge these days...

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46 minutes ago, Zeitgeist said:

Very true, Boges.  Ontario has a great system....

All great things, that don't require the waste and hypocrisy of publicly funding a separate school system for one religion. In fact, we could continue the great work in education while saving over a billion dollars, money that could be used for a variety of positive purposes including reducing the massive maintenance gap in education.

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The Catholic system to some extent keeps the public system on its toes, usually outperforming it on EQAO assessments. I’m surprised that with so many challenges to Canada’s cultural traditions, such as the attempts to implement Sharia law in Ontario, that you so quickly want to dispense with this aspect of Ontario culture.  Our most recent immigrants are more ardent in their beliefs, and they make no apologies for this, nor should they. They are protected by the Charter.  Our education systems are successes. 

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In terms of feasibility:

1) Trudeau wouldn't have a problem with it. He is the least Catholic PM we have ever had, including the guy who put the communion wafer in his pocket. 
2) As others have pointed out, the Constitutional protections could be gotten around, if there is an appetite for it - it would just take longer. 
3) Ford would never do it. He's the front runner for Christian votes right now, and he isn't going to screw that up, and send them to the Liberals.
4) Just because 51+% support the idea, doesn't mean it makes political sense. That's not how politics works.

In terms of economics:

1) Yes, one study said there would be huge savings. This isn't gospel. (See what I did there?)
2) Other amalgamations (that promised big savings) actually ended up costing more.
https://fcpp.org/pdf/FB036AmalgamationCostSavingsIllusory.pdf
3) The main cost is the cost of educating the students. The administrative costs are a drop in the bucket comparatively. 
4) There's already decent cooperation between Catholic and TDSB in terms of bussing etc. 
5) There would be a tremendous upfront cost of amalgamation - as well as community division. Do some schools shut down? Do the boundaries get redrawn?

In terms of fairness:

1) There is something inherently wrong with one religion getting government-funded schools and not the others.
2) Tory suggested funding all the religions, which is the main reason he lost the Provincial election after leading. 
3) The current public school system could really be called the 'atheist' school system, where all symbols of religion are forbidden, and Christian traditions are being stamped out - carols, Christmas trees etc. Religious children are essentially told to 'keep it in the closet'
4) So, transforming all schools into secular schools seems fair if you're an atheist, since your beliefs will be upheld at the expense of all others. 
5) Instead, they should look at expanding the faiths in the Catholic schools - to include other religions - so that there are religious and secular schools.

 

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On 7/30/2018 at 8:42 PM, Slick said:

How were Quebec, Manitoba and Newfoundland able to end public funding for a religious school system?

 

From  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separate_school this helps explain it. We are a 'federal' system meaning what laws are federally constituted applies to its subdivision governments (as provinces). Thus, since the Constitution of Canada federally asserts a separate school provision uniquely to protect the specific Roman or Anglican Catholics, this law overules provincial laws WHERE CHALLENGED. As to a province opting to end 'provincial' funding, this may be challenged in the upper courts. But it is a touchy situation for ALL our Canadian political parties who favor at least some religious supporters of one religion or another. As such, it is not easy to be MOTIVATED by certain interests without care because they ALL want some 'theological' power politically protected. 

This is counter to the United States First Amendment that specifically addressed this concern. The founders then recognized that in order for fair and equal representation in government for and by all, you cannot allow laws of any SPECIFIC subset of cultural discretion to have laws without imposing limits on others. 

We ARE a form of "theocracy" but pretend we are something akin to the United State's ideals. As long as no one is able to get a platform to challenge this, those protected religions and others that negotiate behind the scenes with those protected groups as proxies, the laws will be made to try to hide the reality for fear of those within those churches to lose their political power. 

They also KNEW that the United States First Amendment presented this limitation and so try to obscure the meaning to the general 'dumbed down' society who thinks that "Multiculturalism (TM)" is identical to favoring ANY cultures. "Culture" also hides the fact that religion is specifically what is being protected, given religion is the driving force behind their meaning of culture as it is presented. 

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In Canada, a separate school is a type of school that has constitutional status in three provinces (Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan) and statutory status in three territories (Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut). In these Canadian jurisdictions, a separate school is one operated by a civil authority—a separate school board—with a mandate enshrined in the Canadian Constitution (for the three provinces) or in federal statutes (for the three territories). In these six jurisdictions a civil electorate, composed of the members of the minority faith, elects separate school trustees according to the province's or territory's local authorities election legislation. These trustees are legally accountable to their electorate and to the provincial or territorial government. No church has a constitutional, legal, or proprietary interest in a separate school.

The constitutionally provided mandate of a separate school jurisdiction and of a separate school is to provide education in a school setting that the separate school board considers reflective of Roman Catholic (or, rarely, Protestant) theology, doctrine, and practices. This mandate can manifest itself in the Program of Studies and the curriculum, exercises and practices, and staffing. The limits of this mandate are determined by the application of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and judicial decisions.

The different experience in Ontario as compared to Alberta and Saskatchewan is principally the result of the same constitutional provisions having effect on settlement at different stages in Canadian history.

The Constitution of Canada does not establish separate school education as a natural or unconditional right available to all. Only Protestants or Roman Catholics, whichever is the minority faith population compared to the other in a community, can consider the establishment of separate school education. The separate school establishment right is not available to citizens of any other faith (such as Orthodox Christians, Jews, Mormons, Hindus, Muslims, or Sikhs). In addition, the minority faith must establish that they wish to leave the public school system and create a separate school system.

 

 

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