OCSTA asks for support for Catholic Education

We received the below from OCSTA (Ontario Catholic School Trustees' Association), please take a minute to review and act on the below to protect funded Catholic education. 

Your support is needed to speak up for Catholic education. Once again the government of Ontario has launched the “Talk Ontario” website to garner ideas from Ontarians on the priorities they think should be addressed in the upcoming provincial budget.  The site was launched a few weeks ago and at presentthe “ideas” generating some of the most feedback and getting the attention of the media, are the ideas pushing for the amalgamation of school boards and/or the elimination of publicly funded Catholic schools. You can also do a search on the site for “Catholic education” to bring up various posts related to this topic.

We encourage our community to speak up in opposition to such ideas. Following is a link to one of the more “popular” idea threads calling for the amalgamation of Ontario’s education system – we encourage you to communicate your opposition to any move in this direction:

https://talks.ontario.ca/idea/amalgamate-catholic-and-public-school-boards

 

NOTE: you will need to register to comment.

Here is how we have been addressing the myth about amalgamation and financial savings in education:

 

Special interest groups opposed to Ontario’s Catholic schools argue that the elimination of Catholic schools through amalgamation would save about $1 billion. This figure has no basis in fact.

  • The Reality: Education funding in Ontario is per-pupil based. This is the driver of costs and would not change under an amalgamated model. The only way to save money through amalgamation would be to close SEVERAL HUNDRED schools in Ontario. 
  • The Reality: If schools were amalgamated and hundreds of schools closed, all Ontario students (across all systems) would be displaced.  There is no indication that public school supporters would be prepared to move their children from the local public school in order to accommodate children living closer to a Catholic school or vice versa.  There would be disruption and chaos in every community across this province.
  • The Reality: The cost of amalgamation would far out-strip any savings. The last amalgamation in the education sector happened in 1998 and resulted in the province spending $1.2 billion in additional “transition” costs for that amalgamation (SOURCE: Ministry of Education).
  • The Reality: Recent research from the University of Western Ontario (Timothy Cobban, 2014) shows that amalgamation does not save money.
  • The Reality: Catholic and public boards save taxpayers millions of dollars annually through a variety of successful business partnerships in such areas as: co-operative school financing; purchasing; transportation; energy management and other shared services.

Thank you for supporting this effort to promote and protect Catholic education.