Call for a moratorium on school closures voted down

QUEEN’S PARK – The government voted down an Opposition Day Motion by Official Opposition leader Patrick Brown that called for a moratorium on all school closures in Ontario and a full review of the Pupil Accommodation Review Guidelines issued to school boards by the Ministry of Education.

Local MPP Jim McDonell issued a press release March 7th.

“The PC Caucus and I have repeatedly called upon the Ministry of Education to show some leadership, own up to their mistakes and unfair funding policies and work with rural Boards to find a better funding formula,” McDonell commented.

“Our students deserve to receive good public education close to home – it is up to the Ministry to ensure that happens. The current Minister, instead, points her finger at the same school boards she deprived of appropriate funding to tackle rising infrastructure, operating and staff costs. During Question Period today we demanded she step up and place a moratorium on closures, as this same government did in 2003. They are clearly not willing to do so today, despite the devastating impact this will have on communities that rely on their local school. We need to review how we spend our scarce taxpayer money on education and all infrastructure to ensure we obtain the best results”

The closure of SJ McLeod, Rothwell-Osnabruck and North Stormont Public schools in Upper Canada District School Board comes to a final vote on March 23rd.

“I’m proud of how our communities came together to save many schools from closure, but much work still lies ahead” MPP McDonell stated. “We need to continue driving a strong message to the Minister of Education and the Premier that their mismanagement of public education in Ontario is harming our children’s welfare and future. I will be a partner for UCDSB in achieving that aim. Our communities’ future demands that we insist on meaningful change in education funding. Our children deserve no less.”