No plans to hike funding for schools after casino fundraising ban
The province says there are no plans to hike funding to schools so parents can avoid fundraising now that the archbishop has implemented a ban on casino fundraisers.
Many parents CTV News spoke with want the province to cover the shortfall after the ban comes into effect. But the province says it already spends enough money on schools.
"We fund the school system at a level that we believe is appropriate for the education system that we need," said Education Minister Dave Hancock.
A day ago, Catholic School board officials finally got a chance to sit down with Archbishop Richard Smith to get a better grasp on his decision to ban casino fundraising.
Last December, the archdiocese drafted the policy about banning Catholic schools from cashing in on casinos, VLTs, and bingos.
A good chunk of Edmonton's 87 Catholic schools currently hold one casino fundraiser every two years. And each fundraiser can earn up to $50,000, which adds up to $6 million every couple of years.
School officials argue the cash from casino fundraisers pay for a number of vital school programs, including hot lunch programs.
And some parents suggest the province should help them work it out.
"They should be helping because children are your future right?" said parent Jennifer Love.
The education minister says the province provides a mechanism for people to get involved in school fundraisers and that is through the charitable gambling model.
The archbishop would not say why the Catholic Church has allowed schools to become so reliant on this revenue stream for so long if he believes it is morally wrong. He says what needs to be looked at now is why schools need to rely so heavily on fundraising at all and what the government is planning to do about it.
The education minister will be meeting with the superintendent and the chair of the Catholic School Board to see if they can come up with sources of long-term sustainable funding in the near future.
With files from Joel Gotlib