The main (in general) question: Should denominational schooling be funded directly by government (tax payers) money?
The background: There are perfectly acceptable non-denominational schools run and paid for by the state, offering free and comprehensive education (up to 18 years old) which anyone, from any background, can attend.
A Catholic perspective supports separate Catholic schools and highlights the need for the recognition of parents as the first and foremost educators of their children and also request the right to have their children educated in accordance with the beliefs of the family. This sounds a reasonable request. In reality the CCMS schools are a (minor) form of discrimination, as if they gain a good reputation as an excellent educational facility, unlike a state school you cannot choose to send you child there unless you are Catholic. Also, teachers cannot teach in the CCMS schools unless they are catholic, which is also a form of government sanctioned discrimination.
I recognise the reasons for the different approaches to education and the rights of the parents to have a choice in where to send and how to educate their children.
But should the government be having to cover the costs of a parallel system of education when a state alternative already exists?
FYI, In Northern Ireland there are two main bodies who build schools under the control of the Dept. of Education.
They are the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) and the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE).
There are also the state schools controlled directly by the Dept. of Education.
Thanks for any responses.
This is not intended to be antagonistic and I would like to say I personally have little problem with the central funding of distinct schooling bodies.
(Especially as the percentages of state to CCMS schools is almost 50/50 anyhow).
I am merely canvassing opinion as to the reasoning behind this approach, and whether you consider it justified or not.