Lobbying, Advocacy, and Public Relations
The Association has a mandate to promote the professional interests of Catholic teachers, advance the cause of Catholic education, and fight for the common good.
In 1997, the Ontario government passed the Fewer School Boards Act, which removed education from the residential property tax base and placed all school board-related funding under the provincial government. Education funding, policies, and curriculum went from being locally determined to being provincially driven and consistent across Ontario.
With the government as the employer and director of all education policies and programs, maintaining good relationships with policymakers at Queen’s Park is essential. Regular dialogue between the Association and MPPs from all three main political parties means that the perspectives of Catholic teachers are considered when important decisions are being made in the field of education.
Advocating for a strong publicly funded education system that includes Catholic schools is of the utmost importance. But as Catholic teachers, we are also called to improve the human condition at home and around the world by working to eliminate discrimination, foster understanding, and reduce poverty and economic inequality. On their own, or in concert with colleagues and other organizations, Catholic teachers give their voices, time, and energy to a number of causes that align with our Catholic values and promote the common good.
If Catholic teachers are to make a difference in strengthening our education system and building a more just society, we must inform and inspire a greater number of people to advocate with us. To this end, we undertake public relations campaigns to raise awareness of key issues that affect education and the common good. Notable initiatives have included our Speak for Children and Teachers Matter campaigns.
The four main areas of OECTA’s advocacy are: