~ A brief history of the Ontario Federation of Teaching Parents
OFTP was formed in 1987 by a small group of individuals who were not actually homeschooling. The original founders were all involved in private schools with dispersed classrooms.
Back in the late '70s and early '80s, the Ministry of Education thought it would be a good idea to have homeschooling families join together to form private schools. This way, the Ministry believed, these families could be readily monitored and tracked. In many instances, regional school inspectors helped set up these schools.
At one time there were at least 25 private schools with dispersed classrooms. In the mid-'80s, however, the Ministry authorities changed their way of thinking and attempted to close down a number of these schools. Because of this, OFTP was formed.
The original purpose was to combat the adversarial activities of the Ministry and school boards who attempted to disrupt the activities of individual families that were members of these private schools. At that time, there were no support groups that had any experience in dealing with school boards and the Ministry. OFTP filled that void.
OFTP membership originally consisted of families who were members or owners of these private schools. Over time, OFTP took on true homeschooling families as well, and today the membership is virtually all homeschooling families.
OFTP remains affiliated with the Ontario Federation of Independent Schools (OFIS).
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