End Discriminatory Funding for Catholic/Public/Independent Schools in Ontario

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The current school funding system in Ontario provides full funding for the public system and one private group and no funding for other independent schools. These other schools meet the same provincial requirements (and in many cases exceed them), and reduce the number of students in the public system. Catholics have the option of paying taxes and educating their children in the system of their choice at no additional cost. There is no reason to give that option to one group, at the exclusion of others.

The result of this is that many families (including mine), pay their taxes and pay additionally for their children to attend an independent school. Many of these families, and the schools they attend, are not wealthy at all. This petition is not asking for funding for elite, private schools for the wealthy - simply to end an unjust funding practice. Many of these families take on debt and make significant financial sacrifices for their children to get the education they are seeking, while schools may also operate on a very tight budget.

Many independent schools in other provinces receive some provincial funding.* However, Ontario has instead opted to give full funding to one group, at the expense of all others. The UN declared this is discriminatory in 1999,** and it needs to change.  

Please equalize funding for all schools effective immediately, along with any possible back pay to make up for the many years of imbalance. As long as the Catholics receive any funding, all other schools that meet provincial requirements must receive the same (up to a certain, reasonable cap, based on public school spending/capita and other relevant criterion). If Catholic school funding is adjusted, the other schools must match accordingly. If no other private schools receive funding, then all funding should be removed from the Catholic board.

Why is this important?
* http://www.ourkids.net/school/provincial-funding-for-private-schools

* https://www.fraserinstitute.org/article/private-schools-are-not-subsidized

** http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/un-says-funding-of-catholic-schools-discriminatory-1.175008

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