Motion to Board by Lynn Graham : LUSENET : Ottawa School Closures : One Thread

MOTION TO OCDSB - MONDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 1998 Presented by Lynn Graham

WHEREAS the solution to overcrowding in high-growth suburban areas does not lie in the excess space in inner-city schools;

WHEREAS a provincial commissioner (Taman Commission) in 1991 concluded that surplus space in older urban communities provides no viable or acceptable solution to pupil accommodation needs outside the Greenbelt;

WHEREAS the Ottawa-Carleton Catholic School Board (OCCSB) has requested that the province address space needs outside the Greenbelt independently of space needs inside the Greenbelt;

WHEREAS the OCDSB has a critical need for new schools in growth areas in order to alleviate overcrowding and the effects of having students housed in portables;

WHEREAS the closure of schools will have harmful effects on community recreation, adult education and child care programs currently occupying school space;

WHEREAS the closure of schools will threaten the viability of rural communities and the urban core and will run counter to the Ottawa-Carleton Regional Official Plan which calls for an intensification of population growth inside the Greenbelt;

WHEREAS the provincial government promised the revised school capacities for the end of June 1998 but did not release this information until September 30, 1998;

WHEREAS the provincial government's space allocation formula is fundamentally flawed (100% utilisation virtually impossible, no consideration of enrolment projections, no consideration of many legitimate and creative, cost-effective uses of school space, etc.);

WHEREAS the board has no assurances that the provincial government will provide capital funds in the coming years, regardless of the number of per pupil spaces;

WHEREAS the board requires time to consider creative, cost-effective ways to use space in schools and time to consult school communities, regional and local governments and other community partners in a meaningful, rational way; and

WHEREAS the Ontario Public School Boards Association, the OCCSB and many large and rural boards have requested up to a two-year delay in determining surplus space;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the OCDSB insist that the provincial government:

1. Permit, without penalty, the OCDSB to address the space needs of schools outside the Greenbelt independently of the space needs of schools inside the Greenbelt; 2. Provide transition capital funds now to allow for new school construction in high growth areas outside the Greenbelt;

3. Give the board a two-year period, without penalty, to complete the process of dealing with surplus space;

4. Provide the board with adequate funds to cover school operating and maintenance costs;

5. Provide sufficient annual school renewal funds to permit the board to implement a long term facilities renewal program for older schools identified by the board to remain open.


6. Identify for the public specific problems associated with the provincial government directives regarding school accommodation; and

7. Implement these decisions through: (a) written communication with the Minister of Education and Training, with copies to other boards and local, regional and provincial politicians (b) a request for a meeting with the Minister of education and Training (c) the sponsoring of a forum on school accommodation (d) meetings with community leaders in Ottawa-Carleton and (e) the launching of a media campaign.

-- Anonymous, November 19, 1998

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