Thursday, September 08, 2005

Publish Day - Ink Blog - Local schools

Community matters a lot to me, and I'm willing to bet it matters to you as well. Which is why I bristle every time our supposedly democratic layers of representation conspire against our ability to control our own destiny.

To wit, the Ontario Municipal Board. This body has in recent years been a convenient arbiter of last resort for developers who haven't gotten their own way at the municipal level. Like petulant children, they routinely appeal their cases to the OMB and, more often than not, the OMB rules in their favor.

Despite repeated assessments by everyone and his/her dog that this organization is anti-democratic and should be abolished, it persists.

And our ability to determine the fate of our neighborhoods is once again eroded.

Here's the text version. Queens Park refers to the Ontario provincial legislature:

Don’t take away local school control

Published Thursday, September 8, 2005

The London Free Press

Lately, it seems every announcement from the provincial government is a good-news/bad-news proposition.

For example, Queens Park has announced an additional $160 million in funding for publicly funded schools. That’s good news because it might allow the Thames Valley District School Board to build its first new schools in a generation.

But, as always, there’s a catch: local parent trustee boards could lose their power to determine which schools must close and when.

I worry when matters so vital to our local interests are handed over to provincial entities that know virtually nothing about the places over which they wield so much power. Our ability to shape our community’s future is gutted when decision making authority is yanked away from the parents who are so invested in our schools’ – and their children’s – future.

With three levels of government constantly fighting to increase their power over us, the day is fast approaching when we no longer have any say in how our kids are educated. This lesson frightens me immensely.


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