REGINA — The Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association (SCSBA) is launching a fundraising campaign to cover the legal cost of appealing the Theodore court ruling.
The April 2017 decision to end provincial funding for non-Catholics attending Catholic schools left many parents confused and upset. The ruling essentially states that any student attending a Catholic school must be a baptized Catholic. While the majority of students in Catholic schools are baptized, this narrow and restrictive definition does not reflect the inclusive nature of the faith.
To appeal the Theodore ruling, the SCSBA is beginning a fundraising campaign to cover the costs of legal proceedings, which is estimated at some $300,000.
“We feel strongly that education funding should stay where it belongs, in our classrooms, but at the same time, we need to pursue an appeal of the court decision to ensure Catholic education is an option for all parents who want it,” says SCSBA president Vicky Bonnell. “So we are reaching out to our supporters for their help.”
Under the theme “Schools You Can Believe In,” the campaign will cover what will be needed to appeal the decision up to the Supreme Court of Canada, should that become necessary.
All eight Catholic school divisions in Saskatchewan are participating in the fundraising campaign, and are looking to parents, families, parishioners, provincial Catholic organizations, clergy and friends of Catholic education for help so that Catholic education will remain an option for future generations.
“Starting today, we are sharing our story and reminding the Saskatchewan people of the gift we have of Catholic education in our province,” says SCSBA executive director Tom Fortosky. “This gift is accessed and appreciated by Catholics and non-Catholics alike. We do not want to deny those who want to have their children participate in our schools.”