Equality is an integral part of Canadian society. So why are thousands of children in Ontario are discriminated against by the government which denies them fair and equal access to educational supports? Families who choose the best educational environment for their children should not be penalized; public education funds should be used to support students, wherever they go to school.
What is education equality?
Education equality means that every child is given fair access to the same government supports and opportunities for success, regardless of where they go to school.
Currently in Ontario, many children do not receive fair and equitable supports from government because they attend an independent or non-public school.
Aren't all private schools just for the wealthy?
Regardless of income, parents make the often difficult decision to choose an independent school environment in order to provide their children the best possible foundation for future success. This may be due to the unique educational or health needs of their children or a desire to preserve important family traditions and communal continuity.
Unfortunately, parents who exercise their right to choose the best educational model for their children are forcibly saddled with undue financial burdens and see little to no educational services from the full property and other taxes that they pay.
Why choose an independent school?
If you are not among those children who develop along the typical path in terms of reading, writing, and mathematics, your child’s needs are often not being acknowledged by the public school system as it stands.
This is why parents are often faced with difficult decisions regarding their children's education; The reality is that a one size fits all, cookie-cutter approach is not the ideal solution for their children — Something especially true when it comes to students living with a disability.
In a country that prides itself on equality, the opportunity to learn in an environment which suits a child's unique medical, religious or pedagogical needs should be given to all children regardless of where they go to school.
Do any other provinces support independent schools?
According to the Fraser Institute, one of the jurisdictions which has achieved great results for students by empowering parents to choose a learning environment best suited for their children’s needs is British Columbia. In B.C., parents are not limited to a set variety of educational options (as they are in Ontario) and are provided support if they make the decision to send their child to an independent school.
While the province offers little specialized education in the public system, it has provided support to independent schools which now deliver almost the entirety of these vitally needed services.
A key factor to this success has been the financial support parents receive towards making the cost of independent schools accessible.This means that more parents have been able to provide their children with a learning environment suited to their educational needs and allowed the province to deliver exceptional education outcomes, ranking highly on numerous analyses of student success.