From Monday's Globe and Mail Published on Monday, Nov. 09, 2009
Ontario will see an unprecedented number of school closings unless the province updates its funding models to account for the ever-shrinking school-age population, a report by an education advocacy group has found.
There are 172 elementary and secondary schools across the province slated or recommended to close over the next three years and another 163 are under review, according to data compiled by People for Education.
There hasn't been such a serious threat to the province's classrooms since the late 1990s when budget cuts led to the closing of more than 250 schools. Now the threat comes from declining birth rates, which are dragging school budgets down with them and there's no end in sight - Canada's elementary and secondary schools will likely lose another 500,000 students over the next decade, according to Statistics Canada.
"It's scary because no one seems to know what to do, how to handle these schools in the cities and in the counties, especially the smallest schools," said Karen Aranha, a parent with two children in the Thames Valley District School Board, where enrolment has declined 11.2 per cent since 2002 and 25 schools are slated to close by 2012.
"All across Canada people are in the same uncharted territories," said Annie Kidder, executive director of People for Education. "Everybody's looking at school closings, everybody's trying to figure out what to do."
In the report, Ms. Kidder and her co-authors suggest the problem of declining numbers has been exacerbated by dated funding models.
Read the final report .pdf
Those models, which are based on 1997 enrolment numbers, mean that only 3 per cent of elementary schools and 42 per cent of secondary schools have sufficient head counts to fund a full-time teacher librarian.
The ministry has been slowly moving away from the per pupil model of funding.
"There's a whole roll of money and grants we've put in place to take boards away from the head count," said Education Minister Kathleen Wynne.
The smallest schools are often the most vulnerable: As much as 66 per cent of the province's funding model is enrolment-sensitive.
"I believe in small schools and I believe in small schools for all the reasons that parents put forward, the question is when is a school is too small," said Gayle Stucke, director of the Lambton Kent District School Board.
School closings don't easily translate into savings in rural areas because they often increase busing costs, Ms. Stucke said. Some students in remote areas already endure an hour-long commute every day.
Transportation costs are less of an issue at the Toronto District School Board, a doughnut hole of declining enrolment within the population boom of the 905 area code, due to a dense population and public transit.
But subways haven't stopped immigrant families from settling in the 905 area code, and a high concentration of private schools has helped student numbers decrease by more than 12 per cent over the past seven years.
The TDSB recently said it would review another 35 schools and chair John Campbell said he expected the board would be tackling school closings for several more years.
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
Fact is, we have a declining birth rate, all the politicians are
willfully blind to the causes and reluctantly address "the effects".
Over the last few decades, Ontario has systematically introduced "Male Sharia Law", men, fathers have become second class citizens without legal rights.
Father's legal rights have been steadily and systematically eroded to the point that men have practically no positive legal rights and according to Feminist Legal Theory, men have a reverse onus applied. that's right, men are guilty until they can prove a double negative, that can't be proved.
Example, a mother does not have to comply with the rules of family court. She simply dials 911 and without any evidence and a full time father goes to having no contact.
Ontario Law encourages women to make fabricated claims of income, the higher the income allegation, the higher the order for support and if he can't pay it, he goes to jail.
Ontario's legal system makes it next to impossible to vary an order for support. Judges may have judicial discretion to vary but choose not to. The costs are astronomical, and the the courts protect the Legal Cartel by ordering massive costs for Feminist Lawyers while unrepresented Father's will have costs ordered against them even when they are successfull.
Ontario Judges have a culture of Pure Hatred towards men, they engage in "The process of Justification", that makes Ontario Family Court Judges amongst the Worst, Child Abusers in Canada.
Ontario encourages marriage separation, Women have everything to gain and almost nothing to lose by separation. children become geese that lay golden eggs, Father's become criminals, and a Cash Cow.
Women are given absolute power, enforced by the Ontario Judiciary with draconian orders, Debtor's Prisons, Restraining Orders that banish fathers from Cities FOREVER. Pleadings Struck -
Ontario needs an MASSIVE change in Family Law to stem the declining birth rate.
.The Declining Birth Rate is responsible for less children. That will only be solved by a massive change to Ontario Family Law.
The Ontario Government wont tell you that a declining birth rate means the economy is in a nose dive, with a regular reproduction of children, the economic predictions are grim.
The solution is a legal presumption of Equal Parenting , real policing for the Judiciary and the removal of the "worst of the worst" judges who plague Ontario and leave a trail of destruction that makes "Power orders" and "Sheffield orders" examples of of the worst child abuse in Canada.
If you want change declining enrollment, then change the birth rate and the only way that will happen is when men, are treated as human beings, equal parents.
Ontario, without drastic changes will escalate its war on men that reduces
male human being's to S-P-E-R-M Donors and walking ATM machines, not to mention,
fodder for the big business of operating the Family Responsibility Office that
costs more to operate than the money it gains from "enforcement"
Ontario assumes men are guilty of any and all allegations made by a woman. Ontario's Feminists increasingly refer to "Families" that have two mother's and the closest reference to a father can be found in the term "artificial insemination".
Most aggressive Feminists simply search for an "Unwitting" Male Donor, who is carefully checked out for family history, genetics, intelligence, and his INCOME. As soon as she conceives, the relationship is terminated with an Application for Child Support, extra ordinary expenses that often include a nanny to the tune of $1500 a month , to supply the child with love and affection that the child would have otherwise received from a Father.
Its a growth industry. The Same Feminist after disposing of the S-P-E-R-M donor look for another gullible nice guy to take on the role of a father, once he does that, his role is terminated with an application for Child Support and so, Male number two is on the hook for child support for the same child that lives in the home of two high income earning females both collecting child support at the single child rate from multiple fathers who never see their children.
That is just an example of WHY fathers in Ontario don't wish to be fathers and why Ontario's Birth Rate is in a Spiral Dive.
For this you can thank the Korupt underbelly of the Ontario Family Court Judiciary who flagrantly abuse the principles of fundamental justice to win brownie points from the Feminist Community, one of the leading traitors to men in that area is none other than Jack Layton, head of the Canadian Association of Man Haters called the No Dads Party.