Kennedy acknowledges board's work to improve stability for Toronto students

Archived Release

Kennedy acknowledges board's work to improve stability for Toronto students

Ministry of Education

TORONTO, Feb. 12 - Education Minister Gerard Kennedy today encouraged parents and others to support the Toronto District School Board in its efforts to create stability for Toronto students. "I have been assured by the Board Chair and other members of the Trustee Working Group that no cuts have been made, and none will be made, to programs for students," said Kennedy. "The budget committee has managed to reallocate unspent or unused funds to deal with the pressures that have emerged in the past month to create a small surplus." The full board will consider the proposal at a meeting tonight. In December, the McGuinty government provided $46 million to the Toronto District School Board as its share of new education funding and invited the elected trustees to resume control over board affairs, pending agreement on measures to create stability and future success for the board. The government also helped suspend a $55 million debt from the year before. A balanced budget that fully protects students has been the joint goal of trustees and the government. The other measures, funded by the province, are 1) an Advisory Council of community leaders to improve the public's understanding of the board's work and to provide advice; 2) mediation to help improve the working relationship between trustees and board staff; and 3) pilot projects that strengthen the board and can be beneficial province-wide. "I think anyone who knows the reputation of these trustees and of our government knows that further cuts to student services would not be acceptable to either of us," Kennedy added. "Should the board agree tonight, we are prepared to sit down immediately to work out projects that will strengthen the board and set examples that can be used by other boards." For more information visit www.edu.gov.on.caFor further information: Media Contacts: Amanda Alvaro, Minister's Office, Cell (416) 509-2699, (416) 325-2632; Dave Ross, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2709, Public Inquiries: (416) 325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514, TTY: 1-800-263-2892