For immediate release:
February 17, 2012
Simcoe – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett says a recommendation from the Don Drummond report to merge Grades 7 and 8 in to the high school curriculum – as was done in Port Dover – is timely given the school accommodation process ongoing at the Grand Erie Board.
“Ten years ago Port Dover dodged a bullet, by agreeing to incorporate Grades 7 and 8 in the high school curriculum,” Barrett said, “This was to be the prototype for other high schools to follow. While that didn’t happen, and we now have- yet again – a number of Grand Erie schools competing for too few 9 to 12 students, the Drummond recommendation for the same Port Dover concept to be implemented makes sense across the province.”
The recommendation is one of 362 contained in the report commissioned by the McGuinty government and authored by TD economist Don Drummond. The report predicts dire debt, deficit and further economic consequences should government not follow the proposals for efficiencies.
Specifically, the report recommends, “The province should no longer provide top-up funding to underutilized secondary schools if these schools could instead accommodate some or all of the Grade 7 and 8 students in their catchment area.”
Barrrett adds that if the local process had passed over the benefits of merging Grades 7 and 8 into declining enrolment high schools before, perhaps the Drummond recommendation will put the concept back on the table.
“As was stated in one of the Dover ARC meetings, ‘Anybody can lock up a school – get innovative’,” Barrett stated. “Certainly all options must be on the table.”
The Grand Erie Board Accommodation Review Committee next meets to consider options February 23rd, 7pm at Waterford District High School.
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For more information please contact MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446, 416-325-8404 or 1-800-903-8629