FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Feb. 13, 2015
SIMCOE – In the wake of a new policy that will fast track the process of closing schools, Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett is asking the government to slow down and reevaluate the process.
Currently, a review of a school closing must take a minimum of seven months and include four public meetings. The new guidelines, announced recently by the Liberal government, will change the time to only 10 weeks with one public meeting.
“There have been several schools in Haldimand and Norfolk that have either closed, or been under review,” Barrett said. “These schools are the heart of rural communities. More than an educational institution, rural schools are community centres, meeting places and what keeps the community vibrant.”
“The Liberals have watched enrollment decline for the last decade, and instead of having a proper plan to make sure schools flourish as community hubs, they will now force boards to close schools and try to balance the Liberal budget on the backs of students,” said Opposition Education Critic Garfield Dunlop.
Barrett was especially critical of changing the timeframe for the review and cutting the number of meetings.
“School closings shouldn’t be taken lightly and community input is vital. Cutting the avenue for input is not the way to go,” he said.
For more information, contact MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446 or [email protected]