April 24th Update: We would like to share with you an exciting update about our ongoing Freedom of Information project to determine exactly how ‘Catholic’ publicly funded Catholic schools are in Alberta?
As you may be aware, the large numbers of non-Catholic students in Ontario is a major election issue that was recently exposed by the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star. These major newspapers even mentioned our campaign (have you recently donated?) Considering that the Globe and Mail editorial expressed outrage at Catholic schools in Ontario being funded by 8% non-Catholic students, just wait until they hear about the level of Catholic faith subsidies happening across Alberta! One of our volunteers has made Freedom of Information requests to all 17 Catholic school districts in Alberta to ascertain the numbers of truly Catholic students—both by district and by individual school. The same issue is happening in Ontario, and make no mistake: it is all about the money.
Take one Alberta case study: Edmonton Catholic. They publicly stated last year that they are financially propped up by enrolling 25 per cent non-Catholic students—that's over 10,000 non-Catholic students and hundreds of teaching jobs where qualified non-Catholic teachers are denied jobs for permitted religious discrimination. Why is Edmonton Catholic receiving $100 million per year in public funding for a purpose inconsistent with their mission … at the expense of local public schools? With 25 per cent of students at Edmonton Catholic schools NOT Catholic, the Alberta government has clearly overbuilt Catholic schools at the expense of all Edmontonians having the right to a local public school.
Despite this hypocrisy of purpose, Catholic schools which are actually not Catholic still deny job opportunities to non-Catholic staff and still fund programs that ‘permeate’ Catholic Church indoctrination! If Saskatchewan’s landmark Theodore Case applied to Alberta, the sustainability of many ‘low-Catholic’ schools in Alberta would be questionable as they would not be allowed to accept non-Catholic students for funding purposes.
Edmonton Catholic would need to immediately transfer many of their schools to Edmonton Public if the ‘Theodore’ decision was implemented in Alberta. When you think about the deferred maintenance bills and increased operating costs and duplication of half-empty Catholic schools that are half-full of non-Catholic students across a school ground from aging public schools -- isn't it time for government intervention? And Edmonton Catholic is still promoting expansion of their low-Catholic school system at a time when both districts are fighting for new or replacement schools — and Alberta is $10 billion in debt!
We are completely dependent on your generous donations to help us complete this Freedom of Information project across Alberta as a number of Catholic boards are fighting our requests for their religious statistics.
As an example, one Catholic school district wants $2,400 before handing over their statistics! But we’re going to persevere so local public school families across Alberta have the factual information to advocate that new or replacement schools built in each community should be a public schools, and continue to support our call for a referendum on Catholic school districts in Alberta. Our volunteers are also open to presenting local data to communities and public school boards across Alberta. Please remember to share this data with your friends on your social media!
Though this project is still ongoing, the results received thus far are very revealing. Will you help us sort and crunch the data? Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help us with charts, presentations, and analysis.
CALGARY MEET UP: For those of you In Calgary, we invite you to hear more from Stephen Carter, David King and Luke Fevin at the Education Panel as part of the Secular Alberta Conference. The panel will be a barn burner; get your tickets now!
CBC created a short explainer video (although we challenge their growth statistics in the conclusion) about why other provinces have chosen to abolish their separate school system. It just goes to show that more Canadians are working hard to end the privilege afforded to one separate school system and it lays it out how change in other provinces is possible-- and desirable!
Congratulations to the Alberta Liberal Party for putting forth a resolution to abolish separate Catholic School Boards in Alberta:
WHEREAS the current system of two, publicly funded school systems, one "public" and one "Catholic," is a dated relic from the 1890s and does not reflect the modern cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity that is Alberta today;
and WHEREAS it is discriminatory to fund one religious system 100 per cent to the exclusion of all of the other religious denominations in Alberta today;
and WHEREAS there are Alberta teachers who are being actively discriminated against by the Catholic School System on the basis of religion, a moral outrage in 2018;
and WHEREAS it is wasteful and inefficient to maintain two separate school systems, with duplication of resources, administration and capital expenditures; waste which is depriving the public system of much-needed funds to reduce class sizes and invest in our children,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that an Alberta Liberal government will move to combine the separate school districts into a unified, public school system;
and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that an Alberta Liberal government will commit to re-investing all of the savings from such unification back into our public school system;
and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that an Alberta Liberal government will consult with stakeholders in the current separate system and design a model of delivery whereby Catholic education may be offered as an alternative program in the public stream.
Why can't non-Catholics teach in publicly funded separate Catholic schools? Why is this employment discrimination still permitted? Read this teacher's heartbreaking story:
"In no other avenue of work are employers allowed to discriminate on the basis of religion like this... (read more)
Sign up and help us end the discriminatory hiring practices: www.ouridea.ca/jobs