Sunday, September 19, 2010

Catholic School System- Time to go!

There is something fundamentally wrong with our school system.  It is
critically underfunded.

Is there anyone who would deny this fact? 

What people don't consider in the search for a problem is that we are
currently funding twice as many school boards as we need to or even
should be funding.

We currently fund the English Public school board, the french public
school board, the English Catholic School board and the French Catholic
school board. 

We only have a need and in fact a right, to the public school system.
A publicly funded  Catholic school board is not only extraneous, but
it is unethical and most of all expensive.

Conservative estimates are that the school boards share 500 million dollars or
more across Canada for administration costs that are duplicated in a multi school board system. (70 Million in BC alone)

Catholics will cry "foul!" and many others will not see the need, but
when we examine the Catholic school boards right to existence we can see
that a public funding of such a venture is politically unethical,
financially irresponsible, and a complete violation of separation of
church and state.
Even the UN has heavily criticized Canada for its obvious Catholic
favouritism in the school system.

We continue to ignore that international ruling.

By funding ONLY catholic religious schools we are ALL paying for
Catholic education even though many of us are not catholic.  Clearly
not a fair use of funds when we are all forced to put money into a
religious education that is not of our own religion (or lack of one).
I am not speaking out against catholic schools (although I would if
given the chance.  It is childhood indoctrination),
I am speaking out against a government funded religious program. 
I am speaking out against government endorsing a specific religion.
I am speaking out against the government spending that is clearly not
representative of desires of the population as a whole.

We are not a catholic nation.

If we are to give money to the Catholics in order to both be
representative of our population and to avoid the appearance of the
government endorsed religion being Catholic, we must give money to the
Muslims, the Jews, the Mormons, the Jainists, the Scientologists, the
Sikhs, etc......

That is a very onerous task to ensure that all faiths are government
endorsed and financed.

Why support any of them?

They are free to hold whatever belief they wish, no matter how irrational and crazy I might feel it is, but for them to command 500 million dollars or more in order for them to have government funded SCHOOLS to teach those unsupported and unshared beliefs to their children is asinine and unethical.

It is discriminatory towards the other religions.
It is financially irresponsible
It is unethical to present Catholicism as the only government endorsed
It funds employee discrimination as Catholic teachers as they can apply
to ALL schools where everyone else can only apply to the public school
system.  (Catholic schools only hire Catholic teachers)  That is
discrimination based on religion.
It also goes against the idea of separation of church and state, an
ideology that must be present in all modern governments in order to
function as the voice of a very diverse people.

It is time that we do away with this financially draining, unethical,
discriminatory, middle age example of government endorsed religion in
favour of a system that will give full attention to the school system as
a whole.

After all it is only the kids who benefit from a fully functional,
educationally focused, financially stable school system.

Open privately funded religious schools if teaching
your own children what you want them to believe is too much for you to do on your own, but
don't ask the government to provide what you are too lazy to give them.

In a system divided by religious fault-lines where everyone suffers from
critical underfunding, lets put all of our eggs in one basket.

A secular basket.

That is the only way to be fair to everybody and to truly represent the Canadian populace without discrimination.

Indoctrinating your children with your privately held religious beliefs is clearly not the governments responsibility and the children are suffering in a school system whose funding is divided.

Why not think of them, and do what is right?

One school system for all and everyone wins.

Cartoon found here


  1. For a minute I forgot about the schools systems on the mainland, here in Newfoundland we've had a secular system since '97 - are there any significant movements to change the systems in Ontario or Sask. (I doubt Québec or Alberta would be progressive enough)?

  2. There are some small protests but no real movement to change yet.

    Sad really.

  3. First things first... the legalities. In Canada the provision of public and catholic schools are written into the constitution.

    Yup we've been screwed up since day one.

    Now I'm a big (huge actually) advocate of the Constitution as a living document but unfortunately every time someone even thinks about a "constitutional amendment" the majority of Canadians start bitching. It's almost like they would rather commit Hari Kari than contemplate rational and reasoned changes to the BNA Act.

    My personal view is that every person who pays into the school system (those of us who pay school taxes) should have a choice of where to put their money. If you want to use the public system, fine, that's where your cash goes. If you want to spend it on religious schooling, fill your boots. And if you want to spend your money on a private school that ought to be your choice as well.

    This policy is actually advocated by The Freedom Party of Canada.

    Really I think the whole idea of government sponsored education is wrong, and it is as wrong for a catholic board as it is for a secular board and for the same reason. If the Catholic education is indoctrination then so is our government funded education system and for the same reason.

    Bin the whole thing and give parents the freedom and the ability to choose from a market full of options.

    Funding is only a problem because we have a public system. And that is because everyone wants a "free" education for their kids but no one want to pay for it. Every time someone says your taxes are going up we start bitching again as a result our systems are underfunded.

    It's a vicious circle that will only be stopped when it becomes the responsibility of the parent to choose and to pay in full for what he/she chooses.

  4. I am with you until you said that secular schooling is indoctrination. Secular schools teach facts and history, not beliefs and opinions.

    That is the difference.

    Plus if you fund one religion, you then ethically should fund them all.

    Even the UN has heavily criticized Canada for this discriminatory policy.
    It has nothing to do with where I want my money to go. It has to do with efficiency and improper funding. If we merge the school systems the surplus money goes to the children and their education.

    As you say, it IS written into the constitution, sadly. As we have said before, clearly no dogma should be immune to change and the rigours of critical thinking.

    It is a vicious circle only until the parents decide to teach their OWN children about opinion and belief. That is not education and shouldn't be a burden on the public to ensure that personal opinion and belief are passed on to their children.

  5. Jay, schools showing "An Inconvenient Truth" in science class? That it was "the New Deal that ended the great depression? That "Canadians" won the war of 1812? That Louis Riel is a hero and a "Father of Confederation"?

    Hell in University I took a course called "Global Political Issues" I wrote a paper on "The Communist Manifesto" and the person who marked it slammed me for being such a strong opponent of Communism! His basic comment was the old "good in theory" BS.

    Ideologies are just as much indoctrination as religions. Today the political left owns the school system and for me that's just as damaging as any other ideology controlling what my kids learn.

    I'm not so naive as to think that this bias/indoctrination will ever disappear but as you pointed out with religion it ought to be the Parents decision what their children are taught. I'm not a big fan of school curriculum either. Kids learn just lie everyone else. What interests them spurs them to greater learning. If a kid is bored to death learning about the Dirty Thirties but is excited to learn about the age of enlightenment then what practical use is there in forcing him to "learn" one piece of history over another?

    This doesn't even touch on why how we learn in school sucks. Remember your childhood education? It can be summed up in most cases as "memorize this grocery list". The rare good teacher actually tried to get the kids to LEARN by induction but they usually didn't last long at it because the Kids, having had their minds dulled by the constant barrage of rote learning had already shut down and accepted that method.

    How much does this theory ( ) differ from the way you were taught?

    If you are at all interested in how and why public education needs to change (or some like me say needs to be scrapped) this website has some really interesting articles.

  6. So what does a secular school system 'indoctrinate'? Critical analysis, skepticism, problem solving, and how to be Canadian citizen (aka how to live in society, the non-stated goal of school)? Huh? Secularism isn't an ideology in itself - and definitely no way comparable to a religious belief.

    So after you abolish public schools because they teach this nebulous left-wing curriculum (also curious as to what this curriculum features) what "market full of options" is there? Private schools and homeschooling? Because homeschooling and private schooling are completely free of 'indoctrination'. Yep.

  7. Evan, you might want to read what I wrote, specifically "I'm not so naive as to think that this bias/indoctrination will ever disappear but as you pointed out with religion it ought to be the Parents decision what their children are taught."

    I also pointed out some specific points of indoctrination and specific failures in the public schools teaching methods.

    These failures are caused precisely because the public system is underfunded and therefore UNABLE to teach as many students as fill the system. This overload is caused precisely because alternatives are made so prohibitively expensive by yet another government run bureaucratic monopoly.

    From your rant I can see that you are able to read, just perhaps that you are unable to comprehend.


  8. Martin if there is an issue with what is taught in school, that is another issue altogether. But to conflate the issue with showing an inconvenient truth and teaching fantasy and personal beliefs of only a small portion of our country in a government funded school which discriminates against all other unsupported belief systems is a mistake.

    Religion simply does not belong in school.

    I am surprised to hear you supporting it.

  9. Secondly I can agree that there are a lot of problems with the school system.
    But to agree to fund the teaching of only some peoples personal religious beliefs and make a completely different school system for them and only them is unethical.

    No bones about it.

    It is a separate issue completely from the changes that need to be made in the secular school system.

  10. This isn't just a question of religion though Jay.

    As a parent I should have a right to ensure that my kids are raised in accordance with my ideals. Whether those ideals are secular, religious or philosophical makes not one iota of difference.

    If you are going to call for the end of state run religious indoctrination then the logical result of such a thing, unless you want to abrogate freedom of religion and freedom of choice is to call for the end to all government education and a return to a private education system.

    If not you will trample over the ideas and ideals of Rights and your principle will be reduced to discrimination.

    But perhaps I'm waxing too philosophic and I should narrow my focus on here.

  11. I'm sorry, Martin. Perhaps I'm being thick, but your logical processes are baffling me. How does an end to state run religious indoctrination logically result an end to all government education? AS Jay pointed out, there are certainly issues in our secular system, but religious education/indoctrination is certainly not part of the curriculum or mandate of the public school system. Since when is the Catholic school board the only choice for someone who wants to raise their children in accordance with their own ideals? Everyone is free to make their choice. OF course...people with more money are more free than those without...but that's a separate issue.

    It very much IS a question of religion. It is about the freedom of secular society to not be burdened with onus of financing a religious education that they neither support nor agree with.

    The conclusions you reach are illogical and have little relation to your arguments. At far as what I have read. Perhaps there's more going on behind the scenes that I can't see. ;-)

  12. Nikki, I admit I stepped beyond Jay's religious focus in my argument, and my point rests on that distinction.

    The public system, just like the religious one indoctrinates, which is to say that it teaches a certain set of values and ideals regardless of if your values or ideals differ.

    As you point out the rich can afford to have their children raised according to their wishes but the rest of us are bound to the public system by taxation and force. That means we can not economically decide for ourselves what set of values and beliefs we want our children to be raised with and that is wrong.

    It is just as wrong as Catholic schools and for the same reason. The reason is force, the same force that makes you support the catholic board makes you support the public one as well. The fact that you may not have a problem with what your kids are taught in the public system is irrelevant.

    Eliminate the public system and you will no longer have a problem with government spending its(your) money on things that you don't want your money spent on. You will no longer have your kid come home and tell you that they learned that a madman like Louis Riel (who claimed to be a prophet sent by god) was a father of confederation. Or that s/he watched "An Inconvenient Truth" in science class and how the world is going to be flooded in the next 50 years, a truth held as incontrovertible not because of science but because of dogma, spin and hype.

    The fact is that it's not religion per se that is causing the problem, its the fact that you have been robbed of the right to make these choices. It's not religion you ought to be concerned with as a primary but freedom.

    I hope that makes my point clearer.