HAMILTON, November 6, 2001 (LSN.ca) – The possibility that publicly funded alternative Christian schools will soon be a reality in Ontario is very real. A group known as People for Alternative Christian Education (PACE) hopes to begin their project as early as next September within the Hamilton-Wentworth School Systems (Public or Separate).
Offensive and anti-Christian teaching, and a forced absence of God from public education has caused many Christian parents to resort to home schooling or private schooling. However the situation was manifestly unfair as those parents had to pay twice – their education taxes to the public schools and then cover the costs of private or home education themselves. The situation was also problematic for public schools as less children in the school makes for lower funding from the province. Various public schools have been forced to close due to lack of students.
Lynne Scime, one of the PACE organizers told LifeSite that the program did not involve independent schools but classrooms within schools. Teachers who agree with the PACE program and are selected in consultation with PACE parents partake in the program. All parents who agree with PACE may send their children to the Christian alternative school within a school. At an initial public meeting for the program, local politicians were amazed at the crowd of over 500 who attended. Mrs. Scime notes that over ten teachers in the public system have inquired about teaching in the alternative school.
The Hamilton-Wentworth School Board is seriously considering the proposal and the Ontario government is also likely to approve the measure. The PACE schools would meet the Ontario Ministry of Education curriculum guidelines with a Christian viewpoint to issues and topics in all curriculum areas provided. Instruction will be delivered within a Christian environment grounded in Christian principles with a strong academic focus.
Publicly funded alternative schools exist throughout Canada. Some schools focus on subjects such as science, the arts or sports. Other schools focus on cultures such as French (immersion), Ukrainian, Chinese, German, and Hebrew. In Ontario there is already a publicly-funded Christian School operating since 1998 – Eden High School in St. Catharines.
For more information, the PACE program will be presented at the Family Coalition Party Hamilton Region Banquet on Saturday, November 17, 2001. All interested please contact Francesca at [email protected], or call Phil (905) 692-5092. Tickets should be booked within the next few days.