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Public school as we know it could disappear

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 16th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A number of years ago, when the Halton District School Board found itself having to closes some of the high schools we had citizens who were prepared to march on city hall to vent their frustration.

school-closing-banner

The plan to close high schools in 2014 didn’t go quite the way originally planned – parent protests resulted in a much different decision.

The center of the anger was Central High School, one of the schools on the first list of recommended schools to close.

The people at Central did not let than happen – and the school is still open and in the months ahead they just might get air conditioning that would make life a lot easier for both students and teachers.

The next battle for parents will not be with the school board – the province has taken steps that threaten education as we have known it in Ontario to go through a radical change.

Set out below are a number of slides from a deck that was presented to a group of people at the Ministry of Education.  We do not have a list of just who attended – but we are able to see just what it was they were considering.

Parents need to pay very close attention to this initiative.

We note with regret that there hasn’t been a word from the MPP for Burlington, Jane McKenna,

Ed first slide

Note the name of the committee – and the date on which they met.

Note the date -mere weeks ago.

Here is what they are setting out to do.

Ed - prov time lines

That is a pretty aggressive time line – what’s the rush?

Note even a mention as to when parents might be asked for their views. The province will just make an announcement, pobably on the Friday of a long weekend – which is when the really hard news gets released.

The province sets out what they will have to do legislatively to make this possible.

Ed legislation

This puts the school boards out of business – the province would centralize the content and have third parties deliver it via the internet.

What can parents do? Do what they did when the school board wanted to close Central high school. Protest, let the MPP and the Ministry of Education know that you are not on for this.

If you are on for this – just sit back, watch what the government decides to do – and kiss one of the best educational systems in the world goodbye.

Links to related news items.

The full presentation presented to Ministry of  Education

What parent groups and academics think of the idea – and the consequences i this goes forward.

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2 comments to Public school as we know it could disappear

  • Diane

    The pandemic merely accelerated something the Ford administration had been thinking about in order to get rid of one of their larger budget items (teacher salaries) from the provincial books.

    Anyone with a functional brain has realized during this pandemic how difficult it has been for students mentally, socially and academically during this time through online learning only.

    The impact on some (adults and students alike) from non stop screen usage has been the emergence of migraines, headaches and eye strain. It is impacting learning. The mental health toll has not fully been assessed yet.

    Perhaps instead of cutting salaries by going permanently to online learning in some cases in order to reduce costs, the Ford administration should be looking at ways to actually make up for the loss of in person learning and how to assist those who do not learn well online vs in a classroom setting. But that would require planning, actually caring about student wellbeing and not about the chunk of cash they hope to recoup by going this route.

  • Claudette B Mancini

    Well, this is not surprising. They will be able to save money by not having to maintain school buildings, not to mention supplying consumables, like books, paper, pencils, art supplies, gym equipment, classroom and gym furnishings, educational assistants, teacher consultants, special education assistance, on-site security systems and comfort control…just to mention a few. And afterwards they can dispose of the properties themselves, including their own offices, their trustees, top executives with exorbitant salaries, lesser employees and all of their offices and equipment.
    So how will art, music, languages and sports be taught online? Oh, I forgot! These come under frills in most systems, and have been for years. Just ignore them.
    I guess our education taxes will be eliminated, as they won’t be needed to fund bricks and mortar or equipment. Teachers will receive salaries which they will use to pay for all the home equipment they will require to do the job. Hopefully, many will see what their future will be like and go AWOL. Parents will then need to stay home and do the job instead.
    Perhaps some clever television producers can initiate a whole new bunch of programs to cover all the basics, plus a few to include what used to be the frills, and charge for their use! That should be as lucrative or moreso than streaming sites. Include some good movies on historical facts to cover things like racism, war, pandemics, drug use, and make them part of the curriculum. Don’t know how they will teach stuff like driving, for example, but might include a few on money management and other life skills.
    That should cover it! Spend 20 hours per day watching these programs and try to squeeze in some fresh air and outdoor activities, which the parents will have to supervise, of course. Then test the kids on what they’ve watched to promote them to the next level, assuming they can lift their bodies off the sofa!
    Might as well close down all the stores because no one will have enough time to shop. Restaurants can pick up the slack by becoming caterers. Former education executives and CEOs can apply for food and meal delivery services. What a world we will have! Did I forget anything? Like having a life?