Religious freedom equals educational freedom

The claim that merging Ontario’s government-run and Catholic school systems will save “an estimated $1.6 billion a year” is blarney

Religious freedom equals educational freedomIn terms of cultural insensitivity, the latest call for ending Ontario’s Catholic school funding wins the shamrock, coming, as it did, on St. Patrick’s Day. But if we overlook that faux pas, we still have to consider the pot of gold that would be saved by absorbing Catholic schools into the government-run system. Or do…

Kudos to Toronto, but independent schools still face discrimination

Subjecting parents choosing such schools for their children to extra costs is discriminatory

Kudos to Toronto, but independent schools still face discriminationBy Derek J. Allison Deani Van Pelt and Beth Green Cardus You could call it a step forward in fairness for Canadians who send their kids to independent schools. The Toronto Board of Health recently recommended the extension of its student nutrition programs to qualified independent schools. That means more than 300 independent schools could…

Toppling the misperceptions about home-schooling

Home-schooling successes show that parents and kids can be far more responsible for decisions about their education than imagined

Toppling the misperceptions about home-schoolingBy Deani Van Pelt and Beth Green Cardus Back-to-school means different things for many of Canada’s five million school-age children. For an increasing share of students in almost every province, it means something other than attending a neighbourhood public school. Home-schooling, while still small in overall uptake – Manitoba has the highest share at 1.5…

English public schools becoming less popular in Saskatchewan

French schools increased their share of students, as did Catholic schools. And independent schools and home-schooling options are becoming far more popular

English public schools becoming less popular in SaskatchewanChoosing a school other than your local English public school is increasingly popular in Canada and Saskatchewan is no exception. According to a recent analysis of Ministry of Education enrolment data by the Fraser Institute, the share of students attending English public schools in Saskatchewan showed one of the greatest declines in Canada over a…

The shift away from public schools in B.C.

B.C. policy-makers would be wise to take note that independent school enrolment is increasing and public school numbers are down

The shift away from public schools in B.C.By Angela MacLeod and Deani Van Pelt The Fraser Institute Funding for independent schools may well be reviewed by a new NDP government in British Columbia despite a growing preference for independent schools by B.C. families. But the enrolment numbers bear scrutiny before any major changes in policy are made by the New Democrats, if they…

Getting the facts straight on Alberta independent school funding

The case for defunding independent schools is being made largely on the basis of mistaken analysis

Getting the facts straight on Alberta independent school fundingBy Ben Eisen and Deani Van Pelt The Fraser Institute It’s budget day in Alberta, and some interest groups, including an organization called Public Interest Alberta, want the Notley government to eliminate government funding for independent schools. Unfortunately, the case for defunding independent schools is being made largely on the basis of incorrect claims and…

Right idea, wrong messenger, for education reform in Ontario

A federal Tory candidate’s policy proposal would end a decade of silence on school choice in Canada

Right idea, wrong messenger, for education reform in OntarioThe long drought of policy attention for independent schools and homeschools in Ontario is over. Andrew Sheer, a candidate for the federal Conservative leadership, recently announced a policy proposal that would see independent school parents receive an annual tax deduction of up to $4,000 per child attending an independent school. Homeschool parents would have access…

Ontario: look west for solutions on independent school funding

The province should end its outdated barriers to education choice for students and parents

Ontario: look west for solutions on independent school fundingAs we enter a new year and consider the opportunity 2017 holds, it’s a good time to reflect on the lingering disadvantage felt by Ontario parents who choose independent schools. Recent independent school growth provides clear evidence – Ontario parents want more options for the education of their children. And yet, setting aside Atlantic Canada,…

When Ontario public schools aren’t public enough

Increasingly, parents are looking past public schools for their children’s education – but Ontario's legislation puts up financial roadblocks

When Ontario public schools aren’t public enoughOntario’s courts have declared that some students, due to their parents’ religious preferences, are likely better served outside the public school systems. This is a dramatic development in Ontario education. The recent Ontario Superior Court judgment in Hamilton confirmed what a lot of parents in Ontario already know – their religious beliefs are incompatible with…

Small Ontario schools can – and should – be kept open

We shouldn’t buy the misleading claim that small schools in rural and small communities are no longer viable

Small Ontario schools can – and should – be kept openDozens of communities in rural and small-town Ontario may lose their public schools as a result of a misguided education funding model. Contrary to the rhetoric, this doesn’t need to happen. Schools can be vital centres of activity, particularly for smaller and rural communities. When school buildings are shuttered, non-urban areas become less attractive to…
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