recent board takeovers

Toronto Star  June 5, 2008
Recent school board takeovers in Ontario

The Progressive Conservative government took over three school boards in August 2002 for failing to balance their books; all three supervisors were removed 14 months later when the Liberals took office:

• Toronto District School Board, deficit $90 million. The supervisor was former municipal councillor Paul Christie and the deficit grew during his watch to nearly $100 million. The new board eventually balanced its books with a $46 million grant from the province and a 10-year bank loan.

• Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, deficit $16 million. The supervisor was James Murray, who balanced the budget with $514,000 surplus.

• Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, deficit $23 million. Supervisor was Mervyn Beckstead, a former city administrator, who recommended laying off 45 special education teachers – a move a judge later overturned, saying Beckstead had no such power. Beckstead quit in January 2003 and was replaced by Kyle Murray, former director of education of the Carleton Board of Education, who balanced budget.

Under the Liberal government:

• Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board in October 2006; deficit $7.5 million. Supervisor was Norbert Hartmann, an education finance officer, who handed back control 10 months later after whittling the shortfall to about $1.7 million.

• Toronto Catholic District School Board this month; deficit unclear but government investigator says $5 million to $12 million. The supervisor is Norbert Hartmann.