According to the Ontario College of Teachers, there are three requirements for becoming a teacher in Ontario’s publicly funded schools:
have completed a minimum three-year postsecondary degree from an acceptable postsecondary institution
have successfully completed a one-year acceptable teacher education program
apply to the College for certification and pay the annual membership and registration fees. Application process includes providing proof of identity and a Canadian Criminal Record Check Report.
However, this information is incomplete. There is one more requirement/hoop to jump to become a teacher in Ontario’s publicly funded Catholic school system: a “Priest Reference Form For Teacher Applicants.” WTF? you ask. It’s simple really if you are a the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association (OCSTA) in partnership with The Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops (ACBO) and The Ontario Catholic Supervisory Officers’ Association (OCSOA) because
Catholic schools consider it essential that all teachers support the religious goals of our system, both explicitly and by example. . . . Teacher candidates are expected to be disciples of Jesus Christ and faithful members of the Catholic Church. . . . They should recognize that, while Catholic adults have a right to form their own opinions and make responsible decisions, teachers’ personal conduct has a significant effect on the children in their care.
The Ontario government is favouring one religion over all others by funding Catholic schools and is allowing OCSTA ACBO and OCSOA to discriminate against qualified non-practicing and non-Catholic teachers. The “Priest Reference Form For Teacher Applicants” is religious discrimination in black & white and it makes me see red.
h/t: Smarter Schools
This priest reference is a loophole used for a long time. When friends of mine were applying for teaching jobs in the 90s they encountered this type of discrimination. It seems that Ontario is just fine with it however.
I think these issues really need to be brought out as so many people incorrectly think that property taxes finance schools in Ontario and that Ontario citizens identify the school board they wish to support. This is not how it works as we know.
Time for Ontario to get rid of the publicly funded Catholic school system and provide one, high quality system without mythology and superstition at its core. Other provinces have done it with great success.