Support of Catholic Schools
Roman Catholic ratepayers have the unique constitutional right to declare their school support designation for Catholic education in the Province of Ontario. When Roman Catholics designate their property assessment to the Catholic School Board, they register support for our Catholic schools and make a commitment to the preservation of a Catholic school system in Ontario.
All Roman Catholics, as defined under the Education Act, who are registered homeowners or tenants, with or without children, are eligible to support Catholic Schools. It is important to know, that each time you move, or should there be a change on the property, your designation will automatically default to “public” school support and you will be required to re-declare your school support designation in support of Catholic Schools.
The importance of designating your support to Catholic Schools
Whether you own or rent, have children or not, as a Roman Catholic you have the right to designate your support to the Catholic School Board, which is important because:
· It is the basis of attendance rights for admission into Catholic elementary schools.
· A Roman Catholic elector must be registered as a ‘separate school supporter’ in order to vote for school board trustees in municipal elections.
· It establishes the level of support for Catholic schools and indicates to the government the overall strength and support of a publicly funded Catholic school system in Ontario.
· It supports the board’s population projections, which affect funding for new pupil places and planning for special programs.
Declare your Support
It only takes a moment to complete the required Application for Direction of School Support Form (requires 8 ½ x 14 paper) to designate your support as an English language Catholic School Supporter. In addition to this form, if you own or rent your home with a non-Catholic spouse, you are required to complete a Separate School Lease Agreement. If you are registering a child for elementary school, these forms are included as part of the registration process and can be completed at the school.
To check your school support designation, refer to your property tax bill or recent Assessment Notice, or call the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation at 1-866-296-6722 or the Board’s Admissions department.
Print, complete and sign the required school support form(s) to designate your school support. Send by mail to the London District Catholic School Board, Attn: Admissions Department at 5200 Wellington Road South, London, ON N6E 3X8.
Should you require assistance in completing the school support forms, please contact the Board’s Admissions department.
School Board Elections
Under the Municipal Elections Act, municipal and school board elections are held every four years on the fourth Monday in October. The municipal office is responsible for conducting the election on behalf of school boards.
If you qualify to vote for Catholic school trustees and want to be included on the Voter’s List, you must register your Catholic school support designation with the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation or by contacting the Board’s Admissions department.
To qualify to vote for, or be a candidate for, Catholic school trustee, you must be:
· A Canadian citizen
· At least 18 years old
· A Roman Catholic
· An English-language separate school supporter
· Reside within the jurisdiction of the London District Catholic School Board
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Separate School Lease Agreement and why do I need it?
Provincial legislation provides only Roman Catholics with the right to direct school taxes to the Catholic School system. When a Roman Catholic ratepayer jointly owns or rents a property with a non-Catholic, the Separate School Lease Agreement allows the Roman Catholic, on behalf of the household, to designate school support to the Catholic school system.
I was a separate school supporter at my old address; do I need to designate my support again?
Yes. School support designation is property specific and does not follow you when you move. When you move to a new address or apartment unit, you will need to re-declare your school support designation at your new address.
I received my municipal tax bill and want to change my school support designation?
You can contact the Board’s Admissions department to request and complete the required school support forms to register your change of school support. Or you can print the Application for Direction of School Support Form (requires 8 ½ x 14 paper), complete and mail the form(s) to the board.
Will I pay more in education taxes if I support the Catholic school board?
No. The municipal education tax rate is equal for all other school boards within the jurisdiction.
I am not Catholic; can I designate my support to Catholic schools?
No. Provincial legislation provides only Roman Catholics with the constitutional right to direct school taxes to the Catholic School system and to vote for Catholic school board trustees.
I don’t own my home; can I still support Catholic schools?
If you are a registered tenant of the home you live at (ie. apartment unit) and the Tenant Lease is in your name, you can designate school support. If, however, you do not legally hold title to the property you live at, then you are not eligible to designate school support on the property.
How do I get the form to change my school support?
You can obtain the school support forms at your child’s elementary school or by calling the Board’s Admissions department.
Can we split our school support to support two different school boards?
No. Provincial legislation does not permit residential property taxes to be split between different school boards. Education taxes for residential properties are allocated in full to only one school system.
We own a farm; can we support Catholic schools under our farm corporation?
Yes, the residential portion of your farm can be designated to support Catholic schools. For questions regarding tax support of the farm business, please contact the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation at 1-866-296-6722.
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