A report of out of the provincial TV network TVO stated that Premier Kathleen Wynne could potentially save her job and get re-elected if she made the bold move to create one school system in the province of Ontario.
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David Thompson, the Chair of the Near North District School Board has publicly applauded the idea as a way to make the education system better in the province.
“Education is the one issue that everyone knows the elephant in the room, but no one wants to discuss it so just from following up on research, I’ve had prominent Catholics approach me and say, ‘yeah, there should be one school board.’ My thinking is that this is one topic that can galvanize. It certainly hurt John Tory a couple elections ago but for people, especially in northern Ontario, it is a very prominent issue, funding one school board,” said Thompson.
“It is the one issue that I suspect could put her back in office if she came out and said ‘ let’s look at the one school board,’ or even having a plebiscite is a move in the right direction. Let the people speak about the education in one school board.”
Premier Kathleen Wynne visited North Bay last week and stated that the province needs to be unified and “One Ontario.”
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“She has to understand there are huge differences between the north and south and education is one of them,” said Thompson.
“While we have the same issues across the province, the same issues as under funding of special education, transportation, school closures, northern Ontario is much more magnified in these issues and this is why the eight english speaking school boards have been requesting different funding for Northern Ontario, there is a difference.”
While a one-school board system would mean a loss of many administration jobs, Thompson brings it back to the fact that it’s more about what’s best for students.
“You can’t tell me that a school that has 60 kids or 37 high school kids in one school and then you have another school that has 120 kids, if you put those schools together the sports programs and the extra curricular’s would be so much better. The kids in the small schools are losing out and I think that’s the bottom line.”