Posts tagged ‘School closures’

January 20, 2014

Stop soaring school costs in Ontario

By Arthur Cockfield | Published Jan 19 2014 by The Toronto Star

While recent media attention has focused on Ontario students’ dismal math performance and the government’s “discovery” curriculum approach to learning math, another government education scandal has escaped broad public scrutiny. The provincial government spends billions on budget-busting new school construction that thwarts the interests of students throughout the province.

After the Liberals came to power in 2003 they changed how new school constructions would be funded. Under the old rules, local school boards had to pay for new builds out of their own budgets. The new rules changed this so that new school constructions would now be paid out of provincial coffers. The new regime creates what economists call a “moral hazard,” where school boards neglect renovation costs at existing schools, then request new school funds from the province because they know their own budgets will be unaffected, even though Ontario taxpayers bear the cost nonetheless.

These construction projects are contributing to soaring education costs: a year ago the Ontario government, as part of what has become an annual ritual, trumpeted an additional $711 million for new construction, retrofits or additions for schools. Astonishingly, the total cost for new construction exceeds $12 billion since the Liberals came into power back in 2003. Despite opposition from parents and students in cities like Hamilton and Peterborough, hundreds of schools have been closed to pave way for new schools. And all these costs were incurred while the Liberals were blaming our teachers for their fiscal woes.

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September 25, 2013

Ces images qui dérangent la CSDM

By Jean-Pierre J. Godbout |Published 24 septembre 2013 in Vivre dans Hochelaga

Intervention artistique qui dénonce la fermeture d’écoles du quartier

Photo: Annie Gaudreau

Photo: Annie Gaudreau

Une série d’images-chocs ont été apposées aux fenêtres barricadées des écoles Baril située sur la rue Adam. L’objectif de l’intervention artistique : souligner une situation déplorable qui perdure, à savoir la fermeture de trois écoles majeures dans le quartier et le nouveau transfert de près de 800 élèves lors de la rentrée scolaire.

Mmes Ève Kirlin et Mariève Lafortune, respectivement présidentes du conseil d’établissement des écoles Saint-Nom-de-Jésus et Hochelaga, ont été approchées par les artistes activistes qui ont réalisé les photos. Au sujet de l’action, Mme Kirlin précise qu’« il ne s’agit nullement d’une contestation des rouages de la Commission scolaire de Montréal (CSDM); c’est vraiment pour souligner la situation ». Mme Lafortune souligne par ailleurs que les artistes « ne sont pas des parents. Elles n’ont pas d’enfant dans les écoles concernées. Il s’agit de citoyennes du quartier qui se sont senties interpellées par la cause ». Elle ajoute que les élèves ayant participé à la création des photos l’ont fait volontairement et qu’ils se sont limités à servir de modèles.

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July 30, 2013

Call For UN Intervention Against Human Rights Disaster Facing Chicago Schools

Chicago groups demand inquiry into discrimination, violence, and erosion of education and democracy

By Sarah Lazare, Published July 29, 2013 by

Chicago human rights advocates are demanding a United Nations investigation into the human rights abuses stemming from the closure of 49 public schools throughout the city.

The Midwest Coalition for Human Rights—a coalition of over 50 social justice organizations, service providers, and university centers, sent a “letter of allegation” to the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights in Switzerland, written by University of Chicago law professor Sital Kalantry with wide community input.

The letter charges that the mass school shutdown stands in direct violation of multiple human rights treaties of which the US is a signatory, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“The closing of 49 public schools in Chicago implicates the human rights of children, their parents and guardians to non-discrimination and equality, to be free from violence, to education, and to participate in public policy decisions,” the letter reads.

The closures violate prohibition of discrimination, because “African American children make up 42% of the students in Chicago’s public schools, but 80% of the children impacted by the school closures are African American,” the letter declares.

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