The Implications of Compulsory Attendance “ . . . and when we ask you to regard yourself as a ‘guest’ of the education system we mean precisely that. Now, kindly stop referring to yourself as a hostage . . . .”
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Guarantee of Rights and Freedoms 1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. Fundamental Freedoms 2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: (a) freedom of conscience and religion (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communications; (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and (d) freedom of association. Legal Rights 7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.
What is Fair? If education is a “public good, “ how do we accommodate those who require a different kind of education? AND those who believe that the education provided in the public schools is not appropriate to their beliefs and/or their children’s needs. Should we even concern ourselves with this question? If we should . . . What is the best way to accommodate religious, cultural and/or linguistic diversity? What is FAIR?
The Constitution Act 1982 (B.N.A. Act 1867)VI. Distribution of Legislative Powers§93 - Education 93. In and for each Province the Legislature may exclusively make Laws in relation to Education, subject and according to the following provisions: 1. Nothing in any such law shall prejudicially affect any Right or Privilege with respect to Denominational Schools which any Class of Persons have by Law in the Province at the Union; 2. All the Powers, Privileges, and Duties at the Union by Law conferred and imposed in Upper Canada on the Separate Schools and School Trustees of the Queen's Roman Catholic Subjects shall be and the same are hereby extended to the Dissentient Schools of the Queen's Protestant and Roman Catholic Subjects in Quebec; 3. Where in any Province a System of Separate or Dissentient Schools exists by Law at the Union or is thereafter established by the Legislature of the Province, an Appeal shall lie to the Governor General in Council from any Act or Decision of any Provincial Authority affecting any Right or Privilege of the Protestant or Roman Catholic Minority of the Queen's Subjects in relation to Education; 4. In case any such Provincial Law as from Time to Time seems to the Governor General in Council requisite for the due Execution of the Provisions of this Section is not made, or in case any Decision of the Governor General in Council on any Appeal under this Section is not duly executed by the proper Provincial Authority in that Behalf, then and in every such case, and as far only as the Circumstances of each Case require, the Parliament of Canada may make remedial Laws for the due Execution of the Provisions of this Section and of any Decision of the Governor General in Council under this Section. All jurisdictions in Canada have chosen to make education not only a right, but also an obligation.
Dissentient Schools Provincial Provision for Separate, Denominational, and Dissentient Schools Public and Denominational No Legal Separate Systems Systems Provision Alberta Quebec British Columbia (Now Language based) Saskatchewan Manitoba Ontario New Brunswick Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island Newfoundland Consolidated School Districts
Denominational Rights Denominational schools can hire only those teachers who belong to the church and can demonstrate adherence to its teachings. In the Catholic context, this usually means a letter from the applicant’s parish priest. Catholic teachers who are employed by Catholic school systems are required to provide “witness” to the morality taught in church doctrine and required of church members by Canon Law. In practical terms, this means that these teachers can (and frequently are) sanctioned for failure to live up to these standards in their personal lives. Dismissal for this reason is referred to as “denominational cause.”
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms§23: Minority Language Education Rights Canadian Citizens who are: (1)(a) Parents whose first language learned and understood is that of either the French or English minority of the province where they reside. OR (1)(b) Parents who received their primary education in Canada in English or French and reside in a province where that is the minority language. (2) Parents of whom any child has received or is receiving primary or secondary instruction in English or French have the right to have all their children educated in the same language. (3)(a) Rights under subsections (1) & (2) apply wherever in province the numbers of children warrant minority language education provided out of public funds. (3)(b) Right includes, where numbers warrant, the right to have the children receive that instruction in minority language educational facilities provided out of public funds.
Saskatchewan Human Rights Code 13(1) Every person and every class of person shall enjoy the right to education in any school. . . or place of learning, . . . without discrimination because of his or their race, creed, colour, sex, marital status, disability, nationality, ancestry or place of origin. Only Québec and Saskatchewan guarantee the right to an education in their Human Rights legislation.
Enrolment in Provincially Funded Schools, Saskatchewan, 1991-92 to 2007-08
Blasphemy 030Assuming Compulsory Attendance . . . What do we teach? Condoms? No problem. Just don’t ask for any Bibles!!
Enrolment By Control, Saskatchewan, 2002 - 2003Data from Saskatchewan Education
Saskatchewan’s Response: Historical High Schools • Athol Murray College of Notre Dame • Caronport High School • College Matieu (High School) • Luther College (High School) • Luthern Collegiate Bible Institute • Rivier Academy • Rosthern Junior College • St. Angela’s Academy Historical High Schools are deemed to hold Certificates of Registration as Independent Schools
Saskatchewan’s Response • Historical High Schools • Independent Schools • Accredited Independent Schools • Associate Schools • Alternative Schools • Home-based Education
Saskatchewan’s Response:Independent Schools • owned or operated by a Saskatchewan corporation • has a board that: • exercises powers similar to those of a board of education • comprises a minimum of three adults, representing three different family units • enrols pupils between the ages of 6 and 21 from a minimum of two different family units • has facilities which meet health, safety and construction standards • has goals of education which are not inconsistent with the goals of education for Saskatchewan • is not owned or operated for the benefit of pupils from an Indian Band within the meaning of the Indian Act • has a name that: • is distinct from the names of other existing educational institutions; • reflects the level of programming offered; and • does not inaccurately reflect the location or geographical area to be served
Accredited Independent Schools • conforms to provincial curriculum • employs only certified teachers • is supervised by either the Dept. or an approved person • has operated for a full year prior to application for accreditation • subscribes to the Saskatchewan “goals of education”
Associate Schools • These are schools which, while independent, operate under the supervision of an existing public or separate school board. They are: • deemed to be registered while their agreement with a board is in effect • subject to all provisions of the Regulations except: • they are not required to appoint a director • they are not required to permit inspection or provide the department with records • parents of pupils attending are not required to provide the local school district with written notice that their child is attending an independent school • the school is not required to notify parents that the school is not accredited, if this is the case
Saskatchewan's Response:Alternative Schools • Accredited Alternative Schools • conforms to provincial curriculum policy with respect to alternative education • employs only certified teachers • is supervised by either the Dept. or an approved person • has operated for a full year prior to application for accreditation • subscribes to the Saskatchewan ”goals of education” • accepts pupils placed by: • boards of education • independent school boards • Department of Social Services • Saskatchewan Department of Justice • Dept. of Indian and Northern Affairs (Canada) • with the approval of the Minister, the pupil’s parent or guardian • offers to special needs pupils courses and programs that are qualitatively different from regular education courses and programs.
Saskatchewan's Response:Home-based Education • Prior to September 15, 1994, there really wasn’t any way for parents to legitimately home-school their children. • As of September 15, 1994, Saskatchewan boards are required to establish procedures for: • registration and renewal of registration of all home-based education programs in their jurisdictions; • monitoring all home-based education programs; • cancellation of such registrations; • dispute resolution. • If the board has not established procedures for the registration of home-based education programs or where the board refuses to register a program, parents can apply directly to the Department of Education which may elect to act as the registering authority • Requirements to be met by Home-based Education Programs are detailed in Regulation 15.
The Courts Respond to Attempts to Accommodate Diversity • R. v. Jones (1986) • Zylberbergv. Sudbury (1988) • C.C.L.A. v. Ontario (1990) [Elgin County] • Bal v. Ontario (1994) • Adler v. Ontario (1996) • Islamic Schools Federation v. Ottawa Board (1997) • Chamberlain v. Surrey SD (2002) • Hall v. Powers (2002) • Multaniv. Commission Scolaire(2006)
The Supreme Court of Canada:The National School Board? Mike Manley-Casimir and Terri Sussel argue that decisions made in the higher (appeal) courts of the provinces, and more particularly in the Supreme Court of Canada, will have a leveling or nationalizing effect on educational policy across traditional jurisdictional boundaries. How could such decisions have such a "nationalizing influence"? Constitution Statutes Regulations Common Law Supreme Court of Canada Provincial Appeal Courts Lower Courts P r e c e d e n t