Wednesday, December 17, 2014

For whom the school bell tolls: Wynne's hit-list

This week, a Freedom of Information Act request filed with the Near North District School Board produced telling correspondence.

In 2010 the Liberal government pledged, with fanfare, to spend close to $1 million on upgrades at the high school in Mattawa, a small community of about 2,000 residents. Over the next two years, the correspondence between provincial officials, the Near North board and its administrators reveals an unpublicized decision to quietly shift that money towards renovations of an elementary school in North Bay.

Those exchanges clearly demonstrate who is in charge of how money is spent in our schools – the province is. They also clearly demonstrate that small, rural schools will continue to close in favour of efficiencies of scale, those larger, urban buildings.

If the Mattawa move didn’t clarify the provincial mandate to eliminate small schools, recent letters sent to area municipalities outlining changes to the public process used to close and consolidate those schools certainly do.

The province plans to reduce public discussion, or eliminate the public consultation process altogether.

The Ministry of Education also wants to remove any regard for the impact on small towns from the process – it’s about educating our kids in bulk and saving money – plain and simple.  (more...)

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