Thames Valley schools need $752 Million dollars in repairs*. On average, that's an astounding $4.7 Million per school just to meet the most basic facilities standard set by the provincial government. We need to get to work to keep our kids safe and healthy.
Unfortunately, Ontario school boards don't receive the funding necessary to undertake these repairs, which not only ensure our kids are in a safe environment, but are also an important part of keeping our neighbourhood schools open.
As your Trustee, here's how I'll Stand Up to Fix Our Schools:
- I'll advocate strongly for increased provincial funding for repairs to our schools. It shouldn't be easier to get funding to close a school and build a new one than it is to get the funds to keep our schools safe, but right now, that's the reality. We need to change the funding formula, and I'll Stand Up for Our Schools for as long as it takes to get there.
- I will immediately move that TVDSB publish a full list of each of our schools' assessed repair needs. The Toronto District School Board has adopted this practice because parents, students, and communities deserve to know the state of the buildings.
- I'll look for ways to better prioritize allocation of the funds that we do have so that the most pressing needs are met, and no school is allowed to fall further into disrepair as we await its closure. Any school with kids in it should be safe and healthy. No excuses.
- I'll get moving on a plan to cool our schools. My own child has had to miss afternoons or come home sick from school because the heat is exhausting. There's a lot we can do to cool our schools without putting air conditioning in every building, and I'll propose policies and procedures that ensure our kids are in a comfortable learning environment.
* School Facility Condition Index, Ontario Ministry of Education: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/parents/fci.html