Funding independent schools is good for democracy

Some weeks ago, we brought readers attention to an article by David Hunt, education director at the think-tank Cardus, published in the Financial Post that responded to an op-ed in The Globe and Mail calling for Ontario to stop funding Catholic schools. Hunt answered the columnist’s doubts concerning the positive impact of funding independent schools. “Rather than defund religious schools,” Hunt concluded, “it’s time to allow funding to follow all students to their school of best fit — religious or non-religious.”

In this week’s update we again point to a recent Hunt article in the Financial Post. Hunt rebutting yet another op-ed in the Globe and Mail (this time by Robyn Urback) that repeats the call for Ontario to stop funding Ontario’s Catholic “separate” schools because it is “no longer relevant or defensible in 2022.”

Of course, Hunt has a different view.  He says, simply, that Urback is wrong.

Hunt cites evidence that enabling children to attend denominational schools that suit them, actually substantively improves students’ education. He then mentions an additional, equally compelling benefit to the inclusion of  “independent” schools into the publicly-funded system.

“Dr. Ashley Berner of Johns Hopkins University reports, the overwhelming majority of successful democracies do not view education as the exclusive domain of a secular state. Rather, the state, individuals and civil society play equally important roles in educating the next generation.

“Democracy assumes diverse perspectives. Educating for a strong democracy requires no less. Which is why most of the world’s democratic education systems offer public funding to a wide variety of school types — including religious schools, because they, too, form citizens for the common good.

“Rather than revoking Catholics’ constitutional rights, let’s expand religious-school funding to all faith communities in Canada. But let’s not stop there. Let’s also continue to protect the rights of Canada’s boldest minority group — secularists.  Rather than stamp out competing perspectives, let pluralism bloom.”

GAJE agrees with Hunt’s conclusions. The evidence is overwhelming: by extending the public hand to denominational and non-denominational independent schools, the government is actually enhancing the overall educational, social and civic wellbeing of the public body itself.

Hunt’s article is available at:



Because it is part of GAJE’s mission to champion Jewish education, we are pleased to update readers on the status of ADRABA (, the innovative, online Jewish school that began its third year of instruction just recently after the conclusion of Sukkot.

ADRABA provides a uniquely Jewish and engaging approach to the study of Canadian history, the Middle Ages and food culture. The school also offers a “reach ahead” opportunity for Grade 8 learners who are keen on Canadian history. Every ADRABA course is online, hands on, for-credit, and an unparalleled experience. There is still time to register for this year if families and students are interested at

Next year, ADRABA will be adding a for-credit course in Media Studies that will sharpen critical thinking as it unpacks the coverage in mainstream and new media of “the Mideast Conflict”. Students may register for this course now at as spaces are limited.


If you wish to contribute to GAJE’s lawsuit for fairness in educational funding, please click here.

For further information, please contact Israel Mida at: imida1818@gmail.comvCharitable 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.


Shabbat shalom.

Grassroots for Affordable Jewish Education (GAJE)

November 11, 2022

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