Toronto school board calls on Ontario parties to commit to education ahead of election

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The chair of Ontario’s largest school board is calling on the province’s major parties to make commitments to Toronto schools ahead of the provincial election on June 2.

In an open letter, Alexander Brown — chair of the Toronto District School board — said the board was projecting a deficit for the end of the 2022-2023 year and that cuts would be needed without provincial support.

“Trustees and staff do not want to make these reductions, especially now when the students of Toronto need stability and support after more than two years of disruption,” he wrote, citing the COVID-19 pandemic and “declining enrollment” as reasons for the extra overheads.

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The board is projecting a deficit of $52.2 million next year.

The TDSB chair made four specific asks of Ontario’s political parties as they campaign for votes ahead of the 2022 Ontario general election.

He called for all pandemic expenses to be reimbursed by the province, alongside a commitment to fund the board’s recovery plan.

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TDSB also wants additional employee costs, including pension and unemployment, to be covered and a reinstatement of “enrollment stabilization funding” to smooth over changes in the number of students signing up to TDSB schools.

“The families of Toronto need to know that the party they vote for in the upcoming election will recognize the financial challenges that the TDSB has faced to keep students and staff safe during the pandemic,” Brown wrote.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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