School division to argue in favour of decision not to fund non-Catholic students at Catholic schools

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The Good Spirit School Division will argue in favour today of a judge’s ruling that non-Catholic students shouldn’t be funded to go to Catholic schools.

A lawyer for the Saskatchewan government has told the Appeal Court on Tuesday that the province does not want to tie education funding to the religion of students.

Tom Irvine says Catholic and public schools are both part of the province’s education system.

The province is appealing a ruling that prohibits funding of non-Catholic students attending Catholic schools.

In his 2017 ruling, Justice Donald Layh said the key issue in the case was the provincial policy of funding separate schools based solely on student enrolment without regard to students’ religion.

The decision caused concern among parents who worry it could lead to over-populated public schools and possibly some empty Catholic schools.

Irvine told court yesterday that the government views religious neutrality to mean providing funding for public education for all — without the requirement of a baptismal certificate or religious test.

The Good Spirit School Division is to argue today in support of Layh’s ruling.

Dwight Newman, a University of Saskatchewan law professor, says he wouldn’t be surprised if the case ends up in the Supreme Court of Canada.





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