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Projected Cost Savings From the Merger of Ontario Public and Separate School Systems

Projected Cost Savings From the Merger of Ontario Public and Separate School Systems

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Published by Daily Xtra

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Published by: Daily Xtra on Sep 01, 2012
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11/19/2013

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PublicandCatholicSchoolMergerStudyPage1
 
ONTARIO PUBLIC AND CATHOLIC SCHOOLMERGER STUDY
PART I - PROJECTED COST SAVINGS FROM THEMERGER OF THE ONTARIO PUBLIC AND CATHOLIC SCHOOL SYSTEMSPART II
±
POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE MERGER OF THEONTARIO PUBLIC AND CATHOLIC SCHOOL SYSTEMSPART III
±
CONSTITUTION ISSUES RELATED TO THE MERGER OF THEONTARIO PUBLIC AND CATHOLIC SCHOOL SYSTEMSMARCH, 2012
Prepared byWilliam J. PhillipsPast-PresidentFederation of Urban Neighbourhoods of Ontario Inc.www.urbanneighbourhoods.ca 
IN MARCH 2007, THE FEDERATION OF URBAN NEIGHBOUHOODS IDENTIFIEDCHALLENGES FACING THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT. ONE OF THESE CHALLENGESWAS WORDED AS FOLLOWS:
Education: 
Ontario voters have made it quite clear that they will not tolerate public funding for religious schools. The problems of funding religious schools for only one religion remain troublesome. It might be useful to establish a commission to study how the public and separate school systems could be combined and what savings would result from such a merger.
THE FOLLOWING PAPER HAS BEEN PREPARED TO CALCULATE THE POSSIBLESAVINGS FROM SUCH A MERGER AND EXAMINE THE POLITICAL AND CONSTITUTIONISSUES. THE CURRENT ECONOMIC SITUATION FACING THE PROVINCIALGOVERNMENT REQUIRES ECONOMIES IN THE PROVISION OF EDUCATIONALSERVICES WHICH COULD RESULT IN CUTS THAT WOULD RESULT IN WIDESPREADPARENT DISCONTENT AND MAJOR LABOUR DISPUTES WITH TEACHER UNIONS. IT ISPOSSIBLE THAT SUCH OUTCOMES COULD BE PREVENTED BY THE MERGER SAVINGSOUTLINED IN THIS PAPER. THE FEDERATION OF URBAN NEIGHBOURHOODS OFONTARIO BELIEVES THAT A DISCUSSION OF THE POSSIBLE MERGER OF THEONTARIO PUBLIC AND CATHOLIC SCHOOL SYSTEMS SHOULD TAKE PLACE ACROSSTHE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO IN LIGHT OF THE SEVERE FINANCIAL PRESSURESFACING ONTARIO EDUCATION.
 
PublicandCatholicSchoolMergerStudyPage2
 
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This paper anticipates the Government of Ontario responding to severeeconomic restrains by cutting educational services and reducing teachersalaries and benefits following the Drummond Commission Report. Asoutlined below, it would be possible to reduce or even eliminate most of these cuts by merging the Public and Catholic school systems.Projected cost savings from merging have been calculated as follows:
x
 
Elimination of school board and governance grants for discontinuedCatholic school boards with total potential savings of $164.9 million.
x
 
French language education savings of $38 million by reducingunder-utilization.
x
 
Savings in student transportation grants of $169 million.
x
 
Savings in capital program costs of $239 million.
x
 
Economies of scale savings of between $488 million and $813million.The total estimated annual savings due to merging have been calculatedat between $1.269 billion and $1.594 billion.While such significant savings would appear to be a strong economicincentive for pursuing the merging of the Public and Catholic schoolsystems especially in light of the current large deficit in Ontario, thereseems to be limited political will to do so. However, there appears to besubstantial public support for ending funding for Catholic schools andcertainly little support for extending funding to other religious schools.This paper outlines how easy it would be for the Government of Ontarioto obtain the authority to phase out the Catholic school systems bypassing a resolution which would amend section 93 of The Constitution
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Sinceeducation is a provincial responsibility, there is no doubt that theGovernment of Canada would pass enabling legislation to amend theConstitution as requested by the Government of Ontario as it has done in1997 following separate requests by the Newfoundland Government andthe Quebec Government.
 
PublicandCatholicSchoolMergerStudyPage3
 
PART I - PROJECTED COST SAVINGS FROM THE
 
MERGING OF THE ONTARIO PUBLIC AND CATHOLICSCHOOL SYSTEMS
SCHOOL BOARD ADMINISTRATION AND GOVERNANCE
If all Catholic District School Boards (DSBs) in Ontario were to be mergedwith their public school board counterparts with the exception of the CSD(
Conseil Scolaire De District)
catholique Franco school boards which wouldrequire the shifting of some of the boards into the French Public SchoolBoard sector, the following boards could be discontinued with the eliminationof their grants for school board administration and governance. The boardsand the potential savings are listed below and are based on OntarioProjected School Board funding for the 2011-12 school year.Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic DSB $ 4,004,916Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic DSB $ 3,494,941Bruce-Grey Catholic DSB $ 1,979,214Catholic DSB of Eastern Ontario $ 4,315,945Dufferin-Peel Catholic DSB $21,157,980Durham Catholic DSB $ 6,082,055Halton Catholic DSB $ 7,579,241Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic DSB $ 7,313,460Huron-Perth Catholic DSB $ 2,166,891Huron-Superior Catholic DSB $ 2.720.980Kenora Catholic DSB $ 1,519,811London District Catholic School Board $ 5,686,780Niagara Catholic DSB $ 6,186,418Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic DSB $ 1,876,065Northeastern Catholic DSB $ 1,939,336Northwest Catholic DSB $ 1,605,732Ottawa Catholic DSB $10,119,255Peterborough V N C Catholic DSB $ 4,361,921Renfrew County Catholic DSB $ 2,190,982Simcoe Muskoka Catholic DSB $ 5,820,224St. Clair Catholic DSB $ 3,284,969Sudbury Catholic DSB $ 3,237,388Superior North Catholic DSB $ 1,339,389Thunder Bay Catholic DSB $ 3,654,865Toronto Catholic DSB $22,178,456

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