Humber journalism student Alex Karageorgos contacted Fix Our Schools to discuss the Province’s proposal to sell TDSB schools to fund over $3-billion of repairs. Here is an excerpt of what appeared in Skedline.com, a breaking news website that features the works of Humber journalism students. Click here for the whole, entitled: “Board Review Looming Over Public Secondary Schools”:
The parent perspective
Between schoolyard provincial regulations and municipal amendments, parents are usually stuck in the middle, playing possum.
The Board has been facing an estimated $3.5-billion repair backlog and this property sale is an attempt to raise funds for the shortfall. Due to the capital project the Ontario government placed upon the TDSB, local trustees have already agreed to sell 20 closed locations. This included former high school Sir Sanford Fleming, which could later be occupied by childcare facilities and private schools.
This TDSB deficit, which goes beyond secondary schools, jumpstarted a grassroots parent advocacy group that was created solely on the premise of bringing awareness to poor public school building conditions.
“We were heartened by the province getting more involved,” says Krista Wylie, Fix Our Schools. “We feel like the province and the TDSB have been at loggerheads for over a decade, where one just blames the other.”
Wylie, a parent of two students enrolled at TDSB schools, is aware of the trials and tribulations that come with lobbying various levels of government for educational reform. The constant back-and-forth amongst the two parties has come with a price: seldom does any task get completed.
“The government can find money if there is a political will to do so and for too long its been under-funding public education,” says Wylie. “We think our kids are going to school in buildings that are falling apart and are, in many cases, in such a state of disrepair that they are becoming unsafe.”