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Statement by Education Minister on Receiving the Toronto District School Board Response

Statement

Statement by Education Minister on Receiving the Toronto District School Board Response

Ministry of Education

Today, Liz Sandals, Minister of Education, issued the following statement:

"The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is the largest and most diverse school board in Canada. And as I have said before, public confidence in the TDSB is key to ensuring public confidence across our entire education system. And that is why we have provided significant support to the board over the past few years.

Margaret Wilson's review of the TDSB confirmed the need for our government to take action -- to ensure governance issues do not become an impediment to student achievement and well-being.

On January 15, I provided directions to the board under the authority of the Provincial Interest in Education Regulation. My directions address the governance issues and concerns around leadership at both the trustee and staff level identified in Ms. Wilson's report with a view to restoring the proper focus of the board on student achievement and well-being.

I ordered the board to comply with my directions by February 13, 2015 -- and to provide me with evidence of compliance by that date.

I am pleased to confirm that I have received the response from the TDSB and I will be taking the next week to review the responses.

As part of my directions, I asked the board to provide me with a three-year capital plan to ensure student achievement and well-being remains a top priority for the TDSB. This has naturally led to discussions around school closures and the complex and difficult decisions that all school boards across Ontario make. Our government understands that schools are more than just buildings - they are community hubs. That's why the province requires school boards to consult with the community, including parents‎, so boards know how the community uses the building for important services like daycares and adult education before a decision about an underutilized school is made. The province also recommends consultation with the municipality.

Ms. Wilson also recommended a consultation with the TDSB community to determine their view on possible changes to support a more effective governance structure for the board. The consultation process will include input from parents, local communities, board staff and trustees. More information about the consultation process will be shared in the coming weeks.

These steps will move us in the right direction of restoring public confidence in Canada's largest and most diverse school board. And I look forward to working with the TDSB to ensure our students continue to achieve excellence."

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