• UPDATE: A letter to parents about the Theodore case ruling

    Dear parents/guardians of Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools students;

    On April 20, 2017, Justice Donald Layh ruled on a court case (commonly known as the Theodore case) that the Government of Saskatchewan could no longer fund non-Catholic students attending Catholic schools in Saskatchewan starting June 30, 2018. This has raised many questions and created some degree of uncertainty for many students, parents, staff and other members of our Catholic school community.

    The two most common questions I hear are:
    - What does this mean for me and my children? and
    - What can I do?

    Although there is no easy answer to the first question, I assure you that we remain a welcoming community, and our doors continue to be open to all families who choose a Catholic education for your children. The decision is about funding; it does not state non-Catholics cannot attend Catholic schools.

    It is important to note that the decision does not refute the constitutional rights for separate schools. This court ruling will have no impact on our current plans to open six new schools in September 2017 (four in Saskatoon, one in Warman and one in Martensville).

    The Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association (SCSBA) has indicated that they are reviewing the details of the ruling and are seriously considering an appeal. We hope to hear more on this soon.

    On April 24, both Premier Brad Wall and Education Minister Don Morgan publically stated their concern over the ruling and their support of parental choice. They are considering their legal options that include an appeal and invoking the notwithstanding clause of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    The government's position is encouraging to say the least. And this brings us to my answer to "What can I do?"

    I believe that it is time to help our community leaders understand how important Catholic education is and encourage their continued support. You can let your elected officials (your MLA, the Minister of Education Don Morgan, Premier Brad Wall, and Leader of the NDP Trent Wotherspoon) know you endorse the government's position and that you want the government to pursue any measure necessary to continue funding all students who choose Catholic education (A list of MLAs is at http://www.legassembly.sk.ca/mlas/.)

    You can write your own letter or email, or use the sample letter that we have drafted​ for your convenience.

    I thank you for your continued support of Catholic education and ask for your prayers through this difficult situation.

    Diane Boyko
    Chair, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools' Board of Education

    PS: Background information on the case, Justice Layh's decision and SCSBA's initial response can be found at http://www.scsba.ca/theodore-case/

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