Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ontario school board takeover

This is bullshit. There's a law in Ontario, a carryover from the Mike Harris Tory days, if memory serves, that allows the province to appoint an overseer to run any schoolboard in the province, if the trustees don't adhere to Queen's Park's funding formulae. The formulae are broken, though, and have been for some time, so some trustees are digging in their heels and refusing to go along with the province's dictates. Recently, the province announced it is taking over the Peel Catholic school board due to their failure to "balance the budget" -- meaning, hack programs to the bone in order to comply with the province's grotesque underfunding.

It's, first, antidemocratic for the province to be able to appoint whoever they want to supplant the duly-elected board members. But, second, and worse, it ignores the real problem: namely, that schools need more money in order to actually produce well-educated people. Appointing an overseer and forcing the board into compliance just misses the point completely. Here's the reductions that the appointee is going to phase in:
Instead, proposed reductions to busing, high school teachers, special education, literacy supports, caretakers and secretaries would be phased in over the next two school years.

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