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Ontario Government Exploring Ways to Aid Province’s Hard-pressed Jewish Day Schools

The Ontario government is considering the use of tax dollars to pay for secular studies at the financially hard-pressed Jewish day schools in this province. Education Minister Thomas Wells said, “The support is there if they (the Jewish schools) can make arrangements with the public schools.”

According to the program now being explored, public funds would be used to pay for courses taught in public schools and the Jewish community and parents would pay for strictly Judaic studies. Only two Canadian provinces–Quebec and Alberta–now provide subsidies to Jewish schools. In the other eight provinces, no tax money is provided although Jewish parents pay normal education taxes in addition to their tuition fees.

The 3500 pupils in Toronto’s Jewish day schools spend an average of three hours a day in Judaic studies and three hours in general studies. The province’s Roman Catholic school system has full tax support in accordance with a century-old agreement but no other religious minority receives such aid.