Monthly Archives: November 2014

250,000 TDSB students need the Ministry’s help

After reading yet again about the ongoing dysfunction (and possible corruption) at the TDSB, Fix Our Schools is urging the Province to please help TDSB students and get involved in working with Canada’s largest school board to address the massive challenges it faces.

The public school students of Toronto have been penalized long enough for the inability of the grown-ups in charge to work together. The TDSB is in crisis and we ask all TDSB parents to write the Premier and Minister of Education, asking them to step in and help get the mammoth ship known as the TDSB back on course.  To make it easy…

Email Premier Wynne & Minister Sandals

Letter to Premier Wynne & Minister Sandals

Email your MPP too – they are YOUR elected official at Queen’s Park! 


Education Development Charges (EDCs) 101

Fix Our Schools believes that the Provincial regulation guiding the collection and use of EDCs must be changed. The TDSB agrees, as do many other school boards across the province. We’ve been lobbying the Province for change and so has the TDSB.

Check these out to find out what the TDSB has been doing:

TDSB Press Release re: EDCs


TDSB Letter to Minister of Education re: EDCs

TDSB Letter to Premier re: EDCs 


TDSB’s $1 million deal with condo developer

The TDSB recently accepted $1 million from a developer to build a new playground in exchange for abandoning the plan to work alongside the City to fight the planned development at the upcoming Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing. The proposed development casts a shadow over the entire school yard every morning, creating a sub-optimal play space for students.

Why would the TDSB agree to such a deal? Sadly, because it made sense when weighing the guaranteed $1 million from the developer against the uncertain $400,000 compensation if the OMB hearing resulted in a win.

Developers should be contributing financially to TDSB schools in communities where they build via Education Development Charges (EDCs).  However, due to current provincial regulations, the TDSB doesn’t qualify so instead, we see these one-off deals where developers only contribute to public schools when backed into a corner.

The Province must change the regulation guiding the collection and use of EDC’s so that TDSB schools benefit routinely from new development. The TDSB has been lobbying the Province  to do this since January, 2014 and Fix Our Schools has been lobbying the Province on this issue since May, 2014.  To find out more about EDCs, visit Education Development Charges 101

The TDSB could use some help from Queen’s Park too

The Ministry has responded quickly to help Toronto’s Catholic School Board address a recently discovered $9 Million deficit.

Province sends in consultant to help Catholic_Boards address a $9m deficit

Yet this same Ministry seems content to sit idly by while the TDSB struggles to address a $3.5 Billion backlog of repairs and maintenance.  The TDSB could use some help too please.  Our children deserve to attend school in well-maintained buildings and if the TDSB cannot address it on their own – then send in the cavalry!

Could public schools get same treatment as transit?

Great news today about transit in Toronto – the Ontario government may get more involved in the TTC and may actually pay for some of its operating expenses.

Ontario considers picking up part of tab for operating TTC

Equally great news is that our mayor-elect is already developing a positive working relationship with Queen’s Park.  Hallelujah!  A good working relationship between the City and Province is critical if we want to see public education get the same treatment as transit – namely more involvement and attention from both the City and the Province!

Fundraising in public schools

On November 3, 2014, The Globe & Mail published an article about how Fundraising gives Toronto’s affluent schools a wider edge

In this article, Annie Kidder, executive director of the not-for-profit charitable organization People for Education, said it is concerning how much schools have come to rely on fundraising to augment their budgets.  How true.

The conversation needs to shift to become about how public schools are an integral part of our public infrastructure – on par with roads, transit, water.  Would we fundraise in our communities to fix roads or build a new subway line?  Sounds ridiculous – right?  To make this point, we submitted a letter to the editor, which appeared in the November 5 edition under the title “Here’s Hoping”.