Could you spare one minute to help vulnerable day school students?

Aug 14, 2019 | CIJA Priorities, Community

As a father, it is deeply concerning that many parents in Ontario struggle to provide their child with the tools they need to reach their full potential. This is why I am writing to ask for your help.

Please join me in taking action to end the inequality in access to essential services for children with disabilities who attend independent schools – including Jewish day schools. It only takes one minute to send a message to the Government of Ontario.


Unlike other provinces, Ontario doesn’t offer many disability-related services for children who happen to attend an independent school. While some services are covered, the list of such supports is very narrow – compared to the wide range of government-funded services available for public school students.

For example, the province will pay for a speech-language pathologist to help a Jewish day school student with pronunciation. But the province will not pay for the same professional to support their comprehension and expression. This distinction does not exist for public school students, for whom the government funds both, along with many other crucial services denied to children who attend an independent school.

This inequality is acutely felt by parents who receive little or no government support for their child’s mental health, ADHD, or anxiety needs.

This is why the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is supporting a grassroots campaign called Every Kid Counts. We have joined a broad coalition of diverse communities and disability advocates around one message: Every child, regardless of the school they attend, should have access to the same publicly-funded health services.


If Every Kid Counts is successful, it will have a massive impact on the well-being of many vulnerable families in our community and beyond.

It would also ensure that our struggling day schools are not forced to pay millions every year for health-related services that should be universally accessible.

If you can spare one minute, you can make your voice heard. Please join me in taking action that – if successful – could prove life-changing for many children.

Thank you in advance,

Steve McDonald
Director of Policy and Strategic Communications
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)

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