Category Archives: Funding Toronto Schools

A Cool School… But in Winter?

Our school’s boiler repeatedly reminds us that it is well past its “best before” date and it did so again yesterday, when it failed and led to the school closing early.

Our school’s caretakers are doing a great job keeping that old boiler going and other TDSB staff come quickly to help, but they’re all working with one hand tied behind their backs.

In the face of urgent and growing needs at our school, the provincial government has not acted and has turned down a TDSB proposal for a new school for Davisville.

All the more reason to join us this evening at 7:00 PM in the ground floor music room for an information and planning meeting of Davisville School Council’s Building and Land Use Committee.

As parents, we need to step up our advocacy for our children and our community.

Eric Hoskins Responds on Funding Toronto Schools

The Liberal Candidate in St. Paul’s, Eric Hoskins, has responded to a letter from our school council chair, Sarah Miller. In her letters to each of the major party candidates in St. Paul’s, Sarah asked for a commitment from each that they would:

  1. commit to ensuring that children in Toronto will be given the same opportunity to learn in facilities that meet their needs, with capital allocation and policies designed to take into account the requirements of dense, urban areas
  2. commit to being a champion within (their) party to ensure that Toronto schools are not disadvantaged

Liberal Candidate Eric Hoskins’ response appears below:

Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns about Davisville Public School. I share your concerns and as a champion for the schools in St. Paul’s I take this issue very seriously. The capacity and future development of Davisville school is a priority for me and I agree with your assessment.

The Ministry of Education staff understands that the Davisville Public School redevelopment is a complex project. The capital project funding varies year to year. The approval process is dependent on what the school board declares a priority, as well as the level of planning and funding specifics. Unfortunately, TDSB ranked Davisville Public School last in their priority submission. In total, $880.6 million has been invested in the TDSB major capital projects and school renewal in the last decade.

My office has been working with the Ministry of Education to try to address this issue. Before the election was called my office was actively working with the Ministry of Education to bring forward the concerns of St. Paul’s constituents. A meeting recently took place, on April 30, 2014, with myself, parent council members from a number of St. Paul’s schools and senior Ministry of Education policy advisors.

Furthermore, I had arranged a meeting with TDSB Trustee Shelley Laskin, myself and Senior Education officials to discuss Davisville specifically. Unfortunately, this meeting has yet to occur as the election was called and it had to be postponed until after the election.

I will continue to work with both the Ministry of Education and the community should I have the opportunity to represent St. Paul’s after June 12th.

I look forward to working with you so that we can address the very real and substantial challenges faced by Davisville Public School in the near future.

Sincerely,

Eric Hoskins

We’ve had no response from NDP Candidate Luke Savage.

Today is election day. If you are an eligible voter and have not yet voted, we hope the information above, along with yesterday’s post and our post on funding Toronto schools provide you with some useful information.

Justine Deluce Responds on Funding Toronto Schools

The PC Candidate in St. Paul’s, Justine Deluce, has responded to a letter from our school council chair, Sarah Miller. In her letters to each of the major party candidates in St. Paul’s, Sarah asked for a commitment from each that they would:

  1. commit to ensuring that children in Toronto will be given the same opportunity to learn in facilities that meet their needs, with capital allocation and policies designed to take into account the requirements of dense, urban areas
  2. commit to being a champion within (their) party to ensure that Toronto schools are not disadvantaged

Here’s PC Candidate Justine Deluce’s response:

Thank you for your email.

If elected to represent St. Paul’s at Queens Park, I will commit to visiting Davisville Public School shortly after being sworn in to address the concerns of parents like you.

It is important to me that all schools in St. Paul’s give students the best opportunity to learn and grow.

If elected to represent you, I will make the issues at DPS a priority.

Justine

No word back yet from Liberal Candidate Eric Hoskins, nor from NDP Candidate Luke Savage.

Click on the links above to tweet Eric Hoskins or email Luke Savage about funding Toronto schools

Ask Your Provincial Candidate Questions About Education Funding

This Thursday is election day in Ontario.

Underfunding of education in Toronto has not been on the radar of the major political parties, yet Toronto kids are substantially disadvantaged compared to the rest of the province. For example, the provincial government recently allocated only 1.7% of new capital funding to Toronto, even though our city has 12% of the province’s population.

As the Chair of the TDSB, Chris Bolton, said, “Toronto is the fastest growing municipality in all of Ontario… We should be getting our fair share of provincial funding.

The negative impact of this funding shortfall is growing. Our school council chair, Sarah Miller, has written to the major party candidates in St. Paul’s to highlight the challenges we face. She also asked for their commitment to raise funding and erase this serious shortfall that has our kids – and all Toronto kids – at a disadvantage compared to the rest of the province.

You can help!

Ask the candidates by email if they will commit to being a champion within their party to ensure that Toronto schools are not disadvantaged.

Let your candidates know some or all of the following points:

  • Our community is growing, from young families moving into houses and from the many condos that have recently been built, plus the arrival of immigrants in Toronto.
  • Our building has capacity for 384 students. Today, 512 students are enrolled and the projected enrollment for 2016 is 668 students.
  • The existing school is in need of significant repairs and renovations. The cost of these repairs is nearing the cost of a new school building.
  • In March 2014, the Ministry announced its approved list of capital projects. TDSB schools only received $11.9 million of a total $700 million, to be used specifically on only one of six approved projects. The TDSB was not even given permission to rebuild Davisville.
  • Over the past five years, our community has developed and endorsed a redevelopment strategy that would help pay for a new school, yet the Ministry of Education did not approve the project.

Major Party Candidate Contact Info:

Liberal Candidate: Dr. Eric Hoskins

PC candidate: Justine Deluce

NDP candidate: Luke Savage

For Davisville Parents in Premier Wynne’s Riding:

Please click here to email the premier at her constituency office.

Davisville Not on Province’s New School List

For the past five years, parents, community members, TDSB staff and our elected representatives – including Trustee Shelley Laskin, City Councillor Josh Matlow and our Provincial MPP Eric Hoskins – have been involved in an effort to plan the future of our school.

During this time, Davisville became one of eight priority projects across the entire TDSB. These were submitted to the Ministry of Education for their review and approval in December of 2012. Since then, our enrollment has continued to grow, as has the maintenance backlog of large, expensive and vital items – such as our school’s heating system.

We were very disappointed to see, in a late March announcement from the Ontario Ministry of Education, that Davisville has not currently been approved for a new school. We have been given no rationale for this decision, however it comes in the context of Toronto’s needs being largely ignored by the province.

Out of the $700 million in provincial funding announced, the TDSB only received $11.9 million to be used specifically on only 1 of its 6 approved projects.

The Chair of the TDSB, Chris Bolton, said, “Toronto is the fastest growing municipality in all of Ontario… We should be getting our fair share of provincial funding.”

Hundreds of hours of volunteer time have been donated by dedicated volunteers to discuss, prioritize and communicate our fast-growing community’s needs, particularly during the Davisville-Yonge ARC of 2009-2010 and the TDSB’s Local School and Community Design Team process of 2011-2012. The need for a new school is clear to the TDSB, which is why Davisville is one of only eight priority projects identified by the Board and submitted to the Ministry.

Trustee Shelley Laskin will be attending our school council meeting tomorrow (Tuesday, April 8) at 6:45 PM in the gym to share the latest information she has about the situation and to discuss next steps for our community. Babysitting will be provided and all Davisville parents are welcome to attend.