This is an open letter to everyone in the Rainy River District who is concerned about public education.
The current Ontario government has created larger school boards, leaving all of us with much less local representation and control.
This has been touted as a cost savings but it is really a grab for the education dollar pot. Once the money is in government coffers, it can be used to finance the promised provincial income tax cut.
Part of the money that goes to the school board will come from local property taxes but the mill rate will be set in Queen’s Park. Local boards will not have the power to raise money for special programs needed locally.
School councils will be increasingly consumed with fundraising for needed programs, resources and equipment. You should hope that your child attends a school where there are the necessary volunteers for fundraising.
Some questions for the Harris government:
oYou say you are willing to listen and communicate with workers in the education sector. Why, then, is your government ramming bill after bill through the legislature without proper consultation?
oWhy don’t you state clearly that there will be no more cuts to an education system already hurting from your cuts?
oWhy are you devaluing Ontario’s children to provide a tax cut to the province?
oIf you respect teachers as professionals as you say you do, why are you trying to put uncertified teachers in our children’s schools?
Public education supporters, please talk to your local teachers. Call/write/fax Premier Harris and voice your concerns.