McGuinty government restores local voice to Toronto's public school students

Archived Release

McGuinty government restores local voice to Toronto's public school students

Ministry of Education

Elected trustees resume control of their local schools TORONTO, Feb. 18 - Education Minister Gerard Kennedy today announced the official end of provincial supervision at the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). The lifting of provincial supervision follows last week's decision by trustees to commit to balancing the board's budget in 2003-04 and the completion of an agreement to implement measures to ensure the board's future success. "Toronto's public school students and parents have their local voice back," said Kennedy. "Trustees have shown their commitment to stability at the board without cutting services and programs for students and are already talking to us about positive changes that will benefit all students. This is good news for students and parents." It was a joint goal of the government and the trustees that the balanced budget fully protect programs and services for students. Trustees also agreed to other measures funded by the province, details of which will be announced in the coming weeks, including: - Creating a voluntary panel drawn from the community to advise the board; - Establishing a process to help improve the working relationship between trustees and board staff; and - Collaborating with the ministry to develop and implement pilot projects to improve educational services and programs for students that could be introduced at other boards. The McGuinty government began the restoration of local democracy at the TDSB in October 2003 by replacing the supervisor appointed by the previous government with a co-management team. The team, consisting of the elected board chair, the board's Director of Education and a senior ministry official, paved the way for a return to trustee governance. As a further step, in December 2003, the government allocated $46 million to the TDSB as its share of a $112 million provincial funding announcement for literacy and English-as-a-second-language programs. "The government has worked with the trustees and the board is now primed for success," said Kennedy. "We will continue to work with trustees to strengthen the board and ensure that Toronto students have the opportunities to succeed that they deserve." Disponible en français For more information visit www.edu.gov.on.ca Backgrounder End of supervision at the TDSB: a chronology - February 18, 2004: the McGuinty government officially announces the lifting of supervision at the TDSB and trustees are back in full control over the board's affairs. - February 12, 2004: the TDSB trustees commit to balancing the budget for the 2003-04 school year and agree to other measures to ensure the board's future success. - December 3, 2003: the McGuinty government gives the TDSB $46 million as its share of the $112 million funding announcement for literacy and English-as-a-second-language programs. The government also helped suspend a $55 million debt from the year before. - December 1, 2003: newly elected trustees assume full control of the Hamilton-Wentworth and Ottawa-Carleton district school boards. - November 2003-February 2004: co-management team prepares the TDSB for a successful return to trustee governance. - November 10, 2003: municipal and school board elections take place in Ontario. - October 31, 2003: Education Minister Gerard Kennedy announces that the supervisors are no longer in control of the three boards and appoints co-management teams to oversee the three boards - the first step in the process to restore trustee governance at the boards. - July 11, 2003: the TDSB supervisor introduces a budget for the 2003-04 school year with a projected deficit of $54 million. - August 2002: former government appoints supervisors to the Toronto, Ottawa-Carleton and Hamilton-Wentworth district school boards. Disponible en français For more information visit www.edu.gov.on.caFor further information: Media Contacts: Amanda Alvaro, Minister's Office, (416) 325-2632, (416) 509-2699 (cell); Dave Ross, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2709; Public Inquiries: (416) 325-2929, or 1-800-387-5514, TTY: 1-800-263-2892