Sandy over at Crux of the Matter blogged about Eden on July 5 and can speak to its history far more authoritatively than I can. Head over there to learn more about how this school became part of the publicly funded system.
From the article by Tiffany Mayer:
Paolo Miele said the Christian faith-based programs at Eden High School infringe on policies in the Education Act that prohibit indoctrinational religious education or focusing teachings on a particular faith.This is the latest step for NDSS supporters to try and do what they can to avoid closure of the school at the end of this school year, given the student population is about 100 short of a 350 target set by trustees last year.
Miele also claims the alternative high school's admission requirements, giving preference to siblings of students or those with a historical connection to Eden, are discriminatory.
"This is about fairness," Miele said. "I'd like to see permanent policy looked at and followed."
Kim Yielding, the board's communications manager, said in the 20 years since Eden became part of the board, the historical connection to Eden has become less of a factor in granting admission than whether a prospective student has a sibling at the school.
"That's also the case with other alternate programs," Yielding said. "If you had a sibling enrolled in extended French and you wanted to apply to that school, you could because your sibling is currently enrolled there."
Eden isn't doing anything wrong, Ministry of Education spokeswoman Patricia MacNeil said.
"Certainly its existence does not contravene the Education Act," because religious programming is happening outside regular class time, she said.
Annie Kidder, executive director for the advocacy group People for Education, also has her doubts that Eden's admission requirements, which also include a letter explaining why students want to attend, are discriminatory.
Eden's entrance requirements differ little from those at other publicly-funded alternative schools, which by nature are exclusive, she said.
"There are many alternative schools that say you have to audition or write an essay or you have to have certain marks, or even you can't have special education needs to get into the school. Have we decided that's OK in our public education system?" Kidder said.