The number of Catholic ratepayers in Waterloo Region has fallen in the last number of years to below 100,000. This has happened at the same time Waterloo Region’s population has grown significantly. To help counter this downward trend, in conjunction with our annual Kindergarten sign-up campaign, we are also launching a campaign to increase the number of “official” Catholic school supporters in Waterloo Region.
It is important to do this for three key reasons:
- The number of officially registered Catholic ratepayers determines the number of WCDSB Trustees, as well as who is and isn’t entitled to vote for Catholic Trustees.
- An accurate tally of Catholic school supporters is vital for planning purposes (new schools, boundaries, etc.).
- A declining number of Catholic ratepayers can be used by opponents of Catholic education to argue for one school system.
The “default mechanism” is largely responsible for the decline. The “default mechanism” is a flawed process under the Assessment Act, by which a person’s school system support is determined. In short, even though you are a Roman Catholic, every time you change address your declaration of school support – by law – automatically reverts to the public school board, and you need to complete and file forms in order to maintain (or reclaim) your Catholic school support.
Many local Catholics consider themselves official Catholic school supporters, even though, in the eyes of the law, they are not.
You can assist this campaign by using the attached graphic in your newsletters, on your Twitter feeds, and via Newswire to encourage your communities to check their school support status and make any necessary changes to their legal designation.