Disrepair in public schools means that Principals and Vice Principals spend time and energy on repair issues that ought to be spent leading their schools. Principals and Vice Principals at many public schools end up spending several hours each week managing repairs at their schools and fielding complaints from parents about the disrepair. These are hours that could be much better spent. Principals ought to be curriculum leaders – not boiler specialists!
Unfortunately, most people blame Principals and Trustees for disrepair in their child’s school. However, the Province has only allocated $74.9-million to the TDSB this school year to address a $3.3-billion repair backlog. Even the most efficient and functional school board in the world couldn’t address a $3.3-billion problem when given an amount that equals only 2.3% of the amount required to address the problem. So by all means let your Principal and Trustee know about disrepair in your child’s school but direct your call to action to your MPP, Premier Wynne and Education Minister Sandals. Let them know that:
- the disrepair in your child’s school is unacceptable
- the current level of funding for repairs and maintenance is grossly insufficient if only $74.9-million was allocated for 2014-15 to address a $3.3-billion backlog of repairs
- the solution being offered by Minister Sandals to sell off schools to fund repairs is incomplete and short-sighted, given that there would still be over $1-billion in repairs in the 458 schools remaining were the TDSB to immediately sell off all 130 identified schools that operate at 65% or less utilization rates.
- sustainable funding solutions must be found to address the unacceptable state of disrepair in not only TDSB schools but in public schools across the province, given the total outstanding repair backlog of $14.7-billion in Ontario public schools