The Ontario School Funding Formula currently incentivizes local school boards to neglect and close neighbourhood schools. Do you support keeping neighbourhood schools open? If so, how?
Responses to the question: "The Ontario School Funding Formula currently incentivizes local school boards to neglect and close neighbourhood schools. Do you support keeping neighbourhood schools open? If so, how?"
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3 Candidate Responses (top)
|Candidate||Brief Response||Full Response|
|Barry Spruce||No||Freedom Party position on Public Schools is to look for efficiency opportunities, the cost of public education is a huge portion of the Provincial Budget, as the demographics change in a community, then in some cases it makes sense to change the locations and possibly close some locations or consolidate. We need to consider all options to continue to be effective and consider the taxpayers costs.|
|Raymond Dartsch||Yes||Keep the neighbourhood schools open by eliminating the separate school board. This would save administrative dollars and would allow a huge logistical rationalization in matching kids up with their nearest school. Kids of all faiths should be walking to their local school together.
|Ted McMeekin||Maybe||Across the province, there are 481,000 empty school spaces and over 600 schools are operating below 50 per cent capacity. To better utilize existing school infrastructure and reduce excess capacity in the system, Ontario has announced $750 million over four years in new capital funding to support school consolidations. This funding would support consolidations through retrofits, additions to existing schools, or the construction of new facilities. This funding commitment is more than any other party.
None of us is as smart as all of us working together.
The oft-referenced 'funding formula' is complex and, contrary to perceptions, is constantly changing. That said I support finding ways to work better with the communities we serve. This will require more focus on partnership to address declining enrolments (down over 20%) and increasing costs (up over 30%) of providing education. We look to our school boards to make tough and strategic decisions that benefit the people that matter most, our children - who are on an educational journey that is entrusted to us.
The ARC process needs a tune up but that can best happen in the context of a municipality and its school boards committing to a joint planning and vision discussion where the best ideas for any reform can be presented. We should create a representative partnership 'table' to engage in a thoughtful and realistic discussion of options that can move us forward. I commit to making this happen.
I was pleased to work quietly but effectively with the community and HWDSB to save Millgrove Public School, a vibrant and innovative rural hub.
Response Summary (top)
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3 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)