In a nutshell… we are parents, students, grandparents, teachers, principals, caretakers and voters who believe that every publicly funded school in Ontario ought to be a safe, healthy, well-maintained building that provides an environment conducive to learning and working. We believe schools must be funded as a key component of our society’s infrastructure.
Since launching in October 2014, we have built a network of over 5,000 people that is growing each day and includes people from many of the 72 school boards in the province. We believe that there is strength in numbers and power in our grassroots, non-partisan activism. Politicians of all political stripes and from all levels of government are following the Fix Our Schools campaign with interest.
In fact, the Fix Our Schools campaign has been credited with being an integral part of the provincial’s government significant increase in funding for school repairs and maintenance.
We aim to continue to build our network and, in doing so, capture the interest of more politicians and lobby those in power to work together to ensure that all Ontario students attend school in buildings that are safe, health and well-maintained. Please join us! if you share our vision and want to join this large and growing network of concerned citizens.
Here is a brief history of the campaign…
Today: Our working group now consists of roughly 30 people, who meet regularly and contribute subject matter expertise and a variety of skills to move the campaign forward. Our focus is on ensuring that all provincial candidates and parties prioritize schools as a critical part of our public infrastructure; and that they commit to ensuring all Ontario’s schools will be safe, healthy, well-maintained buildings that offer environments conducive to learning and working.
In June 2018, there will be a provincial election and it is up to all of us to ensure that schools and education are an important priority for all parties wanting to govern our province.
April 2017: After continued pressure by Fix Our Schools to protect the new level of annual funding achieved for school repairs and maintenance, the Province issues a budget that does protect this new level of funding at roughly $1.4-billion/year. Again, while pleased with this budget announcement, Fix Our Schools continues to pressure the Province to find additional funding solutions to address the $15-billion of disrepair in Ontario’s schools.
August 2016: Another big win for the campaign! The TDSB releases detailed information about disrepair for all of its schools and the Ministry of Education follows suit with similiar data for all schools in the province. A new level of transparency about disrepair in our publicly funded schools is achieved.
June 2016: Big win for the Fix Our Schools campaign! The Province announces $1.1-billion of new funding to repair and maintain schools. Finally, after years of chronic and gross underfunding of school repairs and maintenance by our provincial government, they commit to two years of funding of just under $1.4-billion per year – the amount suggested by Ontario’s Auditor-General is needed to “keep schools in good shape”. While Fix Our Schools is thrilled that provincial funding is now almost TEN TIMES what it was when the campaign began (in 2014, annual funding by the province for school repairs and maintenance was only $150-million!), we realize that this new level of funding does little to address the $15-billion of disrepair that accumulated in our schools when provincial funding was a mere fraction of what it ought to have been.
September 2015: Leveraged the federal election to seek federal infrastructure money to fund the repair and rebuilding of Canada’s publicly funded schools as a critical element of our country’s infrastructure. Interesting to note that a Liberal majority government was elected after promising to take on debt to fund critical infrastructure.
April 2015: Realized that every single one of Ontario’s 72 public schools boards had a repair backlog, for a total of $15-billion of disrepair in publicly funded schools across the province. With this realization, we elevated our campaign to become a provincial campaign.
October 2014: Launched the Fix Our Schools campaign as: “parents advocating for safe, well-maintained TDSB schools”. Focus was on lobbying the TDSB, the Provincial Government and the City of Toronto to work together to address the $3.3-billion of outstanding repairs in TDSB schools.
April 2014: Frustrated with $3.3-billion of outstanding repairs and maintenance at TDSB schools, a group of parents whose children attend TDSB schools in Ward 7 organized the first meeting of what would become the “Fix Our Schools” working group.
Thanks for getting involved to make a positive change in our children’s schools! Please contact me for more information.
Krista Wylie, Fix Our Schools Campaign Co-Founder