Letter to Editor: Don’t forget our school buildings!

Fix Our Schools and former School Board Trustee Howard Goodman submitted the following letter to the editor of the Globe & Mail. While it did not get published, we felt it worth sharing with you! 

Don’t forget our school buildings

We applaud big-city mayors for being strong advocates for investment in public transit.  Unfortunately, there is no voice at the table for another piece of infrastructure that is vital to quality of life and economic development – our community-based public schools. 

Many school buildings in major cities were built for baby-boomers and after 60-plus years are overdue for major upgrades.  Roofs and windows, along with electrical, heating/cooling, and communications systems need to be replaced.  But the need goes beyond replacing worn out parts. 

Businesses want to hire people with strong creative, collaborative, and communications skills, and yet our current school buildings were designed for 19th century education when only 2% of children went to university in 1921.  The goal of schools then was to get boys ready for factory work and girls ready for being housewives or secretaries.  Classrooms that have the teacher at the front of the room with students at desks arranged in rows just don’t meet today’s needs.

It isn’t surprising that mayors are lobbying for commuters and ignoring students; schools aren’t within their jurisdiction.  The federal government needs to meet with the Chairs and CEO’s of the major school boards if our children and communities are to have the school buildings that they deserve.

Howard Goodman, EdVocate.ca  &  Krista Wylie, Fix Our Schools Campaign