Private School Tax Credit Threatens Public Education

 
Toronto, February 21, 2006- Recent world events demonstrate the tragic results when society is fractured along religious and cultural lines. Now, more than any other time in our history, it is crucial that children be educated in a multi-cultural, multi-racial, and multi-religious climate of understanding and learning. The Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA) sees this is a core value at the heart of the public school system and believes this is what Ontario's public schools provide today.

The public education system is responsible and held accountable for employing certified teachers, administering the provincial curriculum and operating with fiscal integrity. The private system is accountable to no one.

"You can't improve public education by spending the public's money on private education," said President Rick Johnson of the Ontario Public School Boards' Association. "The implications of a tax credit scheme for private religious schools represents a wrong turn for building an inclusive society and cannot go unchallenged."

Ontario Progressive Conservative leader John Tory pledges to revive the tax credit scheme for private religious schools should he win the next provincial election. The scheme threatens to drain much needed funding from the public school system.

"The public school system should be strengthened instead of fragmented by extending funding to private religious schools through tax credits," said Rick Johnson.

The Ontario Public School Boards' Association represents public district school boards and public school authorities across Ontario, which together serves more than 1.3 million public elementary and secondary students. OPSBA believes that the role of public education is to provide universally accessible education opportunities for all students regardless of their ethnic, racial or cultural backgrounds, social or economic status, individual exceptionality or religious preference.

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For more information, please contact:

Jeff Sprang
Communications
(416) 340-2540
2/21/2006