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Happy first Day of School
Maybe better than last year

According to Ontario’s Ministry of Education (MOE) projections, today 2,038,183 of the Province’s school-aged children will present themselves for class. It is an exciting day for them and a tension-filled one for their parents.

Not to worry, says the MOE, students in publicly funded schools (Catholic and Public) will be accompanied by an average base Grant for Student Needs (GSN) of approximately $27.08 billion, the equivalent of $13,125 per student. There’s more available for specific targets, but no student can have less.

An organization, People for Education, monitors and reports on its surveys for the purpose of informing the public on the effectiveness of those investments and the impact on their children. Those surveys serve the purpose of providing “pictures in time” to give parents a better sense of understanding the environment in which they assign children daily. These are a sampling of findings contained in their 2021-2022 Annual Ontario School Survey:

  • Most school principals (68%) reported no nurse at their schools.
  • The top five challenges faced by principals in light of COVID-19 were as follows: coordinating staff (90%), space and distancing (83%), health and safety protocols (42%), troubleshooting technology issues (41%), and staff tech knowledge (35%).
  • More than half of school principals reported not having the resources necessary to support the mental health and well-being of their students and staff.
  • Two thirds of principals (64%) reported their school collected race-based student demographic data.
  • More than half of school principals felt that their recent levels of stress at work were unmanageable.

According to the MOE, the GSN has increased by just over 9% since 2019-2020, while the Mental Health and Well Being Grant has seen a 260% increase over the same period.

There are other “classes” of students. According to Deani Van Pelt, director of Barbara Mitchell Centre for Improvement in Education, Fraser Institute. Approximately one in fifteen students across Canada – 368,000, 6.8% of the total from kindergarten to grade twelve – go to 1,935 independent/private schools. Those children can expect no public grants.

According to recent data, around 119,000 students in Ontario alone attend independent schools. Some of these schools have even been around since the early 1800’s. Whatever the bases of their existence, those schools thrive because parents who enroll their children value the ethic of learning these schools provide, no matter the dollar cost.

Provided they deliver. The Public and Catholic District school boards seem to have lost their way, chasing the “fad of the day” and the easy money dangled by the MOE. Not all administrators or teachers fit that description of course.

However, the unwillingness of Administration at the Halton Public District Board to deal with a certain Kayla Lemieux is a case in point. Another is the reluctance of the Toronto Catholic District School Board to address a particular “gadfly” on staff, who seems to be working in overdrive to bring about the destruction of the legal and religious basis of the system, is another.

The latest pronouncement by this individual, via social media, is that on Thursday, September 7th, he will begin a hunger strike which will end only when the Board [and the Government] forsake and forbid the teachings of Catholicism in schools designed for that purpose.

Ora pro nobis.

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