Latest Board Report Makes a "Sham" of Public Consultation

    Trustees should not forget who they represent

    TORONTO, March 25 /CNW/ - The Upper Canada District School Board's
recommendations for wholesale transfer of grade 7 and 8 students to high
schools makes a sham of the Board's public consultation process, say
elementary teachers.
    "When Trustees receive this most recent set of Boundary 2020
recommendations tomorrow, they should not forget the community members they
represent," said Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) President
David Clegg.
    The message that came from the numerous public meetings, ETFO's community
forum, letters to local newspapers, and townships that would be adversely
affected by Boundary 2020 proposals was loud and clear, said Clegg: "Grade 7
and 8 students belong in elementary schools; closing elementary schools and
transferring young adolescents to high schools is not in the best interests of
either students or communities."
    It is an insult to parents and communities that the Board's bureaucrats
have chosen not to listen to these concerns, said Clegg. "It remains for the
Trustees to demonstrate that they are truly responsive to community concerns
by rejecting the Board's recommendations unilaterally. As politicians,
Trustees are ultimately accountable to the voting public, not to the
bureaucrats they employ."
    Clegg added that the Board's report indicates that implementation of its
recommendations would result in savings of $22 million, information that had
not been provided up to this point.
    "We think associating these recommendations with cost savings is a
further insult to parents and communities," said Clegg.
    "While the Board might feel that closing elementary schools and moving
grade 7 and 8 students to high schools is a cost-effective way of addressing
declining enrolment and keeping secondary schools open, young adolescent
students and local communities will pay the price."

    The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 73,000
elementary public school teachers and education workers across the province
and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.

For further information:

For further information: David Clegg, President, ETFO, (416) 962-3836
(Office), (416) 948-1592 (Cell); Larry Skory, ETFO Communications, (416)
962-3836 (Office), (416) 948-0195 (Cell)

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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