It Just Doesn’t Add Up!

logoJanuary 30, 2015  For Immediate Release  Toronto, Friday January 30, 2015  – The Ontario Government is cutting the provincial education budget by $500,000 (a half billion dollars) and then directing massive closures and property sales across Toronto at a time when elementary enrollment is increasing.

It just doesn’t add up!

The Education Minister’s demand for a plan which would close schools that are less than 65% full jeopardizes 130 schools. But the Minister’s figures just don’t add up!

TDSB’s staff have publicly admitted that the sale of the average school site brings in around $6 million.  According to the board’s own documents the replacement cost of a school and the land to build it on would be well over three times the amount generated by the sale of one school property.  The figures just don’t add up.

Instead of recklessly selling off Toronto’s publicly-owned school property -held in trust by our school board for future generations- the Government should be supporting the existing daycares and adult education programs in schools that they currently classify as “under capacity” and then expanding the community use of school spaces.

If the Ontario Government really wanted to cover TDSB’s $3 billion maintenance deficit – a result of 17 years of inadequate provincial funding for education programs and maintenance – it would take immediate steps to fix the Ministry of Education’s own fatally flawed funding formula – a formula that the Government had promised but failed to review by 2010, unless the plan has always been to free up prime real estate for developer friends.

It just doesn’t add up!