Enriching the education system by bringing independent schools in from the cold

Many learned, expert observers of Ontario’s educational system have noted over the years that there is a deep dysfunction at its core preventing it from excelling to higher levels and from better serving Ontario’s increasingly diverse and notably civically-minded population.

For example, nearly a decade ago, Charles Pascal, a former Ontario deputy minister of education during the McGuinty years, famously called out Ontario’s educational funding system as being anachronistic. Some three decades prior, Dr. Bernard Shapiro, renowned educator, academic, scholar, who would also serve as deputy minister of education in Ontario submitted a Report of the Commission on Private Schools in Ontario that urged the province to make some room in the budget for private, independent schools in order to challenge public schools with some measure of pedagogical and administrative competition.

Echoing the conclusions of the Shapiro report, Derek J. Allison, professor emeritus of education at Western University and a senior fellow at the Fraser Institute, published an op-ed in The National Post in which he clearly urges Ontario to include more choice in its educational system.

GAJE has long pointed out the double inequity at the heart of Ontario’s educational funding policy. It prefers one religion to the exclusion of all others and it refuses entirely to provide any assistance to Ontario’s independent schools. In relation to Ontario’s financial disregard of independent schools, Allison observes “Ontario’s long-standing unwillingness to follow other Canadian provinces that provide financial support for independent schools erects an often, insurmountable barrier to school choice for non-wealthy households.” Not to be overlooked in Allison’s observation is the fact that other provinces (the five next largest provinces) do “provide financial support for independent schools”.

Allison further notes what GAJE supporters and day school families know very well. “Ontario’s independent schools offer a rich variety of traditional and innovative schools. Providing financial support for all parents to help enable them to choose an independent school would encourage more variety, further enriching education in the province.”

Allison concludes his piece with a Cri de Coeur that is also familiar to GAJE supporters. “The time has come to enrich the education system by bringing independent schools in from the cold.”

Allison’s full article is available at:

https://financialpost.com/opinion/opinion-ontario-needs-more-choice-in-education

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GAJE thanks everyone who has contributed to help fund the lawsuit that we plan to launch to try to end the inequity and the discrimination hobbling Ontario’s educational system. We are deeply appreciative of your joining our cause. We are nearly half way to the amount needed.

This is our generation’s opportunity to try to end the funding discrimination that has existed in Ontario for more than 25 years. If we do not try, who will?  Please help us make this happen! And please tell your friends to join in our effort.

To donate to this important cause, please click here.

(For further information, please contact Israel Mida at imida1818@gmail.com)

Charitable receipts for donations for income tax purposes will be issued by Mizrachi Canada. Your donations will be used for the sole purpose of underwriting the costs of the lawsuit.

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Be safe. Be well.

Shabbat shalom. And…chag Succot samayach.

Grassroots for Affordable Jewish Education (GAJE)  

September 17, 2021

Posted in Uncategorized
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