Coalition for Public Education - 14 October meetinggreenspun.com : LUSENET : Ottawa School Closures : One Thread
STOP SCHOOL CLOSURES: AN ORGANIZING MEETING Wednesday, October 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the Cafeteria at Fisher Park School, 250 Holland Ave. at Byron Ave.
Parents across Ottawa-Carleton are now getting a taste of Bill 160 and the provincial government's funding formula, which will cut $87 million from education in our region. Both the public and Catholic school boards are looking at closing schools --20 to 25 in the public board alone. Many of these schools will be in the downtown core. And despite having more than 9,000 students in portables, the Catholic board is also being forced to close schools. Schools are the heart of our communities. Not only are they places where our children learn. They are also a centering point for community life, providing needed space for after-school programs and a variety of other activities. Closing schools will affect us all. And once schools are closed, they will never reopen.
The provincial government's funding formula dictates that "surplus space" must be eliminated before new schools can be built. However, even if the public board closes 25 schools, IT WILL NOT BE ENOUGH. By the government's definition, there will still be surplus space on the books.
And that means no additional money for new schools. While the Ministry of Education has released a revised space allocation formula, the new figures are not expected to reduce the number of schools to be closed in Ottawa-Carleton. Rather than fighting this assault on our communities, the public board is trying to get parents and other community members to help it decide which schools should close next September.
The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board has set up a series of 19 Community Working Groups (CWGs), each headed by a paid facilitator.The Community Working Groups have only been given until the end of October to report back to the school board, because the province is demanding that school boards identify schools for closure by the end of December. Communities have been given virtually no time to prepare recommendations that will affect tens of thousands of students and change the face of our region forever. THERE IS ANOTHER CHOICE! Local school trustees have the option of rejecting the school space formula and refusing to work within the Ontario government's deadline. But it'll take a strong message from parents and other community members to SAVE OUR SCHOOLS.
JOIN US FOR AN EVENING OF INFORMATION-SHARING AND ACTION PLANNING. Sponsored by the Coalition for Public Education
HELP IS NEEDED: 1) Let others know about the meeting. Please forward this message widely. 2) Help is needed to prepare for the meeting and to help the night of October 14th. If you are able to help please contact Mitchell Beer. Leave a message at 594-8281, or e-mail Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Coalition for Public Education was formed by Ottawa parents in 1996 in order to promote and defend a strong public education system. Please feel free to forward this newsletter. Subscribe/unsubscribe/comments via email@example.com
-- Anonymous, October 09, 1998