The New Year brings new resolve.
As we have written previously in this space, GAJE is moving forward with an attempt to have the law move with the times to compel the government of Ontario to partially fund the cost of education in the province’s independent schools.
We are not asking Ontario to embark on a revolutionary educational funding policy. Rather, we are asking Ontario merely to conform to the funding policies of the next five largest provinces in Canada, indeed with the educational funding policies of many western European countries. Moreover, as the experience in British Columbia shows, extending partial funding to the independent schools actually is a more efficient use of public funds and ultimately yields better educational results due to the competition faced by the public schools to establish and maintain educational excellence.
In resolving to pursue a legal remedy to help abate the unconscionable financial hardship faced by our young families, most of whom pay an enormous price – not all of it financial – to enrol their children in day school, we are mindful of and grateful for the important funding and lobbying initiatives underway by the community also aimed at making Jewish education affordable. But we believe that there is room and indeed an obligation to try to move the law as well as part of a multi-pronged effort to secure the future of our schools as well as the future of the community.
We perceive this also to be a matter of fundamental fairness and justice. What works in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec, should also work in Ontario.
We must not be afraid to bring the situation to the attention of the Ontario public. Nor should we be reluctant to call upon the courts to bring Ontario’s educational funding in line with the diverse life in the province, indeed, in Canada in the year 2020. As in the other provinces, we should no longer be bound, fully chained, to an outdated educational funding policy.
In the weeks and months ahead GAJE will call upon the public to assist in funding this legal initiative.
GAJE, January 12, 2020