It is time to merge Ontario’s public and Catholic school systems

Posted on June 11, 2017 in Education Delivery System – Opinion/Readers’ Letters – Re: A call against Catholic school funding, June 5

I am in agreement with Reva Landau (founder of One Public Education Now) that there should be one non-denominational, two-language public-school system and parent James Sutton that there’s no reason to stay the way we are.

Quebec and Newfoundland put an end to their publicly funded denominational school systems.

Those who claim that public funding of Catholic schools is sacrosanct under the Constitution Act of 1867 need to be reminded that this act follows common-law principles, similar to that of the United Kingdom.

Common law is most certainly activist, in stating that it “does not consist of absolute, fixed and inflexible rules, but rather of broad and comprehensive principles based on justice, reason and common sense . . . its principles have been determined by the social needs of the community and have changed with changes in such needs . . . are susceptible of adaptation to new conditions, interests, relations and usages as the progress of society may require.”

John Clubine, Etobicoke

I agree that the time is long past due to abolish the Catholic school system. Why is there one favoured group that gets its own school system? Why is there a school system that promotes the delusion that is religion? One thing it is teaching is discrimination, Us vs. Them. We’ve had plenty of examples throughout history that show how bad this is.

Then we get to the economic issues. At a time of extremely tight education funding, the added costs due to duplication of services, extra busing, etc., is nothing short of an obscenity. We need one properly funded school system and not a separate one for a special-interest group.

James Knott, Mississauga

People who suggest that mergers do not save money confuse mergers with amalgamations, which do not save money.

An amalgamation like Toronto’s simply stuck together several municipalities, which did not overlap. A merger would be like Toronto having two fire departments, one serving public houses and the other serving Catholic houses, each department having its own stations, trucks, staff, equipment and administrations. A merger would obviously produce very significant savings.

Merging two (actually four) overlapping school systems in each municipality would produce huge savings in transportation, administration, maintenance and capital costs. It would also allow children of all different faiths to learn and play together and make it easier to maintain a school in every community.

It is time to take the next logical step to ensure more funding to educate all of our Ontario students.

William Phillips, Toronto

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