Yesterday, in my rant against publicly funded Catholic Schools in Ontario, I referenced that I see one advantage to the system. The positive that I see is that it provides a second school choice and it provides it everywhere.
Growing up some students would switch to attend high school in the Catholic system, which meant taking a bus from Paris into Brantford. Sometimes it was a case of not wanting to attend PDHS, or no longer wanting to attend PDHS, or other reasons. A switch of schools, without having to move, is a nice option to have available.
Without the Catholic Boards across the province there wouldn't really be that place to switch to (or from) if the child or parent felt a change was necessary. Poor behavior, disagreements with teachers or administration, bullying, a bad group of friends, even easier commutes, could all be reasons to leave one school and want to try another.
In Toronto, the main school board offers French Immersion or specialized Academies for kids who are Elementary age. These might work for some kids but not ones struggling academically, there are also Alternative choices. In Toronto these options are available and often fairly close by, in other parts of Ontario that isn't the case.
It is nice to have a second 'normal/basic' school to switch too. It is very difficult to have a child go to a school in a different district than assigned in Toronto. - The Toronto Star wrote an article about this. If I was faced with these types of decisions as a parent I wouldn't switch my child into the Catholic system, but I know lots of parents who would do it or who have done it - it is nice to have that easy alternative.
But is it worth the unfairness it shows to all other religions whose school systems don't get funding and must be run privately? I personally don't think so.