Peel District School Board Concerned About New Private School Lobbying Group

 

In a letter to the Minister of Education, Peel District School Board shared their concerns of a new American private school lobbying group that has established itself in Ontario.

TeachON aims to address the disparity in government funding for families whose children attend an independent school in Ontario best suited to their educational needs.

Peel District School Board trustees state that they support the needs of all Peel students.

"I am writing to you on behalf of the Peel board to share our significant concerns related to any lobbying campaign that promotes and supports the funding of private schools over public schools," writes the school board.

TeachON states that their priority will be to pursue a broad portfolio of policies related to STEM education, school security and special needs funding. The Ontario-based group will strive to work with MPPs to secure proper funding for independent schools. TeachON will also be putting together a broad coalition of organizations, federations and schools that represent the many varied communities in Ontario whose children attend an institution best suited to their unique medical, religious, philosophical or pedagogical needs. 

However, the Peel District School Board wants the government to solely focus on public school.

"Communities cannot thrive unless public education is adequately funded and supported. This is why public taxes must continue to be directed towards supporting public education--every child deserves the same opportunity to access high-quality education in the communities in which they live," says the public school board.

According to the Peel District School Board, private school advocacy campaigns inaccurately portray the public school system as failing, which, in turn, reduces funding to public education, and impacts class sizes and program offerings. 

"By incentivizing the pursuit of private options, we will foster systems of inequity and unnecessary barriers for our most vulnerable learners. We cannot afford to have governments who support private education over public education, offering tax breaks for families who are already able to pay for private school," writes the school board.

The school board states that they want government officials to set budget priorities that put students first and ensure all children in Ontario receive fair and equitable access to education funding. 

"Public subsidies for private schools reinforce systems of social and economic inequality. By definition, private schools are not “for all.” If we are “for the children,” we cannot only be “for some children.” We must advocate, support and welcome everyone," writes the public school board.

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