Statement by Education Minister Leona Dombrowsky
Supervision Ends At The Toronto Catholic District School Board
Today marks the end of provincial supervision at the Toronto Catholic District School Board. This means the trustees elected in October 2010 will now have full authority as the board.
In 2008, the board was in serious financial trouble and trustee misspending had eroded public confidence and undermined the board's authority. That is why we appointed a supervisor to help the board regain financial stability and help trustees develop more effective governance practices .We have worked hard in the past two years to make important changes, successfully working with the board to manage its finances and get back on track.
I wish to thank Dr. Richard Alway for his work as supervisor and for the strong and collaborative leadership he has provided the board. I also want to thank parents, students, and others in the community who worked with Dr. Alway to help restore confidence in the board.
In his final report to me, Dr. Alway has outlined a number of recommendations he believes would contribute to the board's ongoing success, including:
- collaboration between the board of trustees and senior staff on the board's strategic direction and multi-year plan;
- faithfully implementing the policy addressing parent and stakeholder concerns;
- respect, civility and professionalism amongst trustees and between trustees and senior administration;
- evaluation of any newly appointed Director be based on an agreed-upon performance plan between the board of trustees and the Director.
- ongoing communication between the board and the ministry;
- improve the board's website and other means of communicating with the school board community.
I support his recommendations and have requested quarterly reports on their implementation. I have also asked the board to provide interim financial reports and a multi-year strategic plan on achieving its mandate.
Today the board's operating budget is balanced and the capital deficit has been addressed. Better financial reporting practices are firmly in place, including an improved policy on trustee expenses and a new, transparent budget process that emphasizes fiscal sustainability.
The board has also improved ties with the community. This commitment to ensure good governance has positioned it to meet its mandate for student success and promote confidence in publicly-funded education.
Effective school board governance is a prerequisite to student success. It is a public expectation and it is the law. I place a great deal of importance on the role of locally elected trustees in serving their students and communities. The board can now start a new chapter in working for the people it serves and focus on implementing important programs like full-day kindergarten to help our youngest learners get a strong start in life.
I look forward to working with board trustees and staff to ensure recent progress will continue well into the future.