The Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association will appeal a Court of Queen’s bench decision made last week.
It was ruled the Saskatchewan Government must no longer fund non-Catholic students to attend Catholic schools.
Spokesperson Tom Fortosky says that ruling will affect everyone in the Catholic education system.
“The case is specific to Christ the Teacher Division but affects all Catholic teaching divisions in the province,” said Fortosky at a news conference in Saskatoon. “At its essence, the constitution provides the Catholic minority with the right to operate a school system in accordance with Catholic values and beliefs.”
In 2004, Yorkdale School Division — now Good Spirit School Division — closed down its kindergarten-to-Grade 8 school in the town of Theodore, Sask. because of low enrollment.
Roman Catholics in the Theodore district then created the Theodore Roman Catholic Separate School Division.
That prompted Good Spirit School Division to launch a lawsuit saying the new school division was not created to serve Catholics in the community.
It challenged the new division simply would prevent the students from being bussed to a neighbouring town.
Last week, Justice Donald Layh said, under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, provincial government funding of non-minority faith students attending separate schools is a violation of equality rights.
Layh’s ruling stated there is a growing number of non-Catholic students attending Catholic schools in the province.
At Friday’s news conference, Fortosky says the constitution provides the Catholic minority with the right to offer a school system in accordance with Catholic beliefs .
“We believe we have the right to have an inclusive and welcoming admittance policy consistent with the church’s ecumenical efforts since the second Vatican Council.” says Fortosky.
Don Morgan, Saskatchewan’s Education Minister says Justice Layh’s decision would make some schools overcrowded and others nearly empty.