I have called upon the Limestone District School Board to follow in the footsteps of their peers at the UCDSB in order to avoid the closure of schools within their board. I would like to thank all those who spoke out and demonstrated the need to keep these schools open. While your voices were an integral part of keeping these community hubs intact, we must continue to advocate for the schools that remain on the chopping block within the LDSB. Below you will find a press release sent out today by my office regarding the Upper Canada District School Board's announcement that schools in the Lanark area will remain open.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
14 February 2017
LESSONS FOR RURAL SCHOOL BOARDS
(PERTH) – Randy Hillier (MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington) calls upon the Limestone District School Board to carefully consider the Upper Canada District School Board's (UCDSB) Final Staff Report regarding school closures in Lanark County.
"My only disappointment is that the lessons learned and recommendations in Lanark were not adopted throughout all areas of the UCDSB," remarked Hillier. "The province has placed great pressures and challenges onto our school boards, and the Limestone District School Board and indeed all rural school boards, ought to consider and implement my recommendations."
"Many Lanark County schools were facing potential closure with serious and negative consequences to our communities," Hillier continued. "I was pleased to see so many speak up, rally, and demonstrate against the uninspired and trite proposed school closures."
"I am pleased that my recommendations have been adopted such as the sharing of space and resources with the Separate board, as well as improvements to curriculum, in order to mitigate the enrollment pressures for schools in Lanark County," commented Hillier. "I remain firm in my view, however, that the pupil accommodation process itself was misguided, and contained within it some fundamental flaws. As an example, nowhere in the process did I see any examination of administrative costs at the Board itself, adjustment of school hours to allow for shared transportation costs with the Separate school board, or an undertaking to reach out with other community associations for lease sharing, which truly can make our schools true community hubs."
"However, there remain a great number of rural school closures which will have serious and enduring negative consequences for our rural communities; it's time all school boards learn these lessons and become champions for our rural and small town schools," Hillier concluded.
Perth Constituency Office 613-267-8239
Queen's Park Office 416-325-2244