An article entitled, “The TDSB’s billion-dollar repair backlog means schools like Northern Secondary are in disrepair” was published in Post City Toronto on March 1, 2016. In it, one Toronto high school was featured. Photos of a broken window, rotting wood, and sub-standard washrooms were featured.
Although the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) certainly has the largest repair backlog of any Ontario school board, disrepair impacts all 72 publicly funded school boards in this province. So, while Toronto schools are often featured in the media, you could readily find schools in critical condition throughout the province where similar photos could be taken.
Ontario’s school boards work extremely hard to quickly address disrepair in schools – especially disrepair that poses an immediate health and safety concern. However, for 2015-16, Premier Wynne’s provincial government has only provided school boards with about 5% of what is needed to address the $15-billion repair backlog in schools across the province. Our provincial government hasn’t even provided sufficient funding to school boards to address the $1.7-billion of disrepair that its own Auditor-General has deemed to be both critical and urgent! Therefore, school boards are in an increasingly tough position as repair backlogs continue to grow.
Premier Wynne – when will you stop boasting about the increased funding your government has provided and, instead, focus on ensuring the funding that is actually needed to ensure safe, well-maintained schools for our children?