2001 – Reply Letter to OFTP from the Minister of Education

Historical Record - This information is provided for historical purposes. The "New Draft Document" refers to the document called "Home Schooling: Successful Practices". Its designation as "new" referred to its purpose being to replace the Johnson Memorandum. It is, of course, no longer "new" and was replaced with the Policy/Program Memorandum No.131. To see the most current policy, please visit the relevant webpage.

A letter sent to Albert Lubberts, then President of OFTP, from Janet Ecker who was the Minister of Education in 2001. This is in response to a letter that Mr. Lubberts sent to Ms. Ecker.

May 23, 2001

Dear Mr. Lubberts,

Thank you for your letter about matters related to home schooling. I also acknowledge correspondence that Premier Harris forwarded to me on your behalf. I regret the delay in responding; however, I am pleased to reply.

Home schooling is recognized as a viable alternative means of providing education to a child. Some parents believe that the best education is the one they provide themselves and this choice needs to be supported. This government respects parents' choice and will support their homeschooling efforts. In this regard, we recently announced our intention to eliminate institutional bias against home schooling. In addition, the Ministry of Education will facilitate home-schooling parents' access to standard tests and other learning tools.

In 1998, the current Provincial School Attendance Counsellor initiated a series of meetings with representatives of key stakeholders groups to review successful practices with respect to home schooling, and to better understand the views of stakeholders. The purpose of the meetings was to ensure that the ministry clearly understood the views of the home-schooling representatives and could therefore take them into account when considering any changes to current provincial policy.

The result of this work was a document developed by the stakeholders entitled "Home Schooling: Successful Practices," which you mentioned in your letter. The government's recent decision is consistent with this document.

The Provincial School Attendance Counsellor, Jim Sebastian, will contact you to discuss the government's direction on home schooling.

Thank you again for writing.

Sincerely,

(signed)

Janet Ecker
Minister
cc: The Honourable Michael D. Harris, MPP Premier