Campaign for Public Education - Media Conference

    TORONTO, Sept. 11 /CNW/ - With education debates set up for most of
Toronto's 22 ridings, education advocates across Toronto have declared the
week of September 17th, "Public Education Week".
    The debates are scheduled at a time when Toronto's school boards, despite
recent campaign promises from various parties, remain in serious financial
    Ontario's 72 school boards have dipped heavily into, and in some cases
virtually depleted, their emergency reserve funds in order to pay for school
operations over the past two years. Almost all are being forced to make
drastic cuts to essential programs each year, and the maintenance backlog is
now estimated to be well over $10 billion province-wide.
    Toronto Trustees have raised the alarm on probable cuts to our Public
Schools in the works for the immediate post-election period:

    -   Permanent reduction to caretaking & maintenance       $40.0 million
    -   Cutting 514 Kindergarten Education Assistants         $18.7 million
    -   Cuts to Adult and Senior Courses                       $8.0 million
    -   Closure of all community swimming pools
        in public schools                                          30 pools
    -   Cut from special education over 3 years                 $12 million

    Alarmingly, boards are already poised to sell school board properties as
a means of balancing budgets which are strapped by continuing gaps in the
funding formula.
    A parent volunteer setting up the Trinity-Spadina all-candidate debate on
public education, Chris Glover, believes there to be "an Orwellian disconnect
between the daily good news funding announcements coming from the Ministry of
Education, and the harsh and cumulative reality of ten consecutive years of
cuts to our neighbourhood schools". Noting next week's all-candidates'
debates, Glover insists that community members get honest answers and real
solutions to the continuing crisis in our schools."
    Documentation on projected cuts across Ontario's school boards, including
the planned cuts to Toronto's public schools necessitated by the Ministry of
Education's current funding formula, will be available at the media
conference, as well as a list of times and dates for the education debates.

    Media Conference

    Date:        Wednesday September 17, 2007              Time: 9:45 a.m.
    Location:    Central Technical School, 725 Bathurst Street (at Harbord)

    Chris Bolton       TDSB Trustee, Ward 10                    416-315-2448
    Tyler Johnson      Student, Central Technical Institute     416-500-5639
    Chris Glover       Ward Council Parent, Toronto District    416-875-4386
                       School Board
    Sean Usher         Can. Adult and Community                 416-274-8877
                       Education. Alliance
    Jack Henshaw       (Citizens for Lifelong Learning)         416-241-4105
    Christina Buczek   (Special Education Parent)               647-893-4911
    Fawzia Mahamed     (Graduate Student OISE)                  416-748-1764
    Raj Tiwari         (TENMA)                                  416-745-5485

For further information:

For further information: 1482 Bathurst St., Suite 400, Toronto, M5P 3H4,
Tel: (416) 393-8900 Ext 236, Fax: (416) 393-8912,,

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