For Immediate Release
August 8, 2016
(Belleville) -The Ministry of Education has backed away from plans to close and downsize provincial schools including Sagonaska Demonstration School in Belleville. Minister Mitzie Hunter announced in a press release Monday morning that the demonstration schools and schools for the deaf and blind will remain open following a consultant’s report on the schools, which was released late last week.
Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith has been leading the opposition to the government’s plans to close the schools and send students back to their home schools. “It’s great news for the parents, families, staff and particularly our severely learning disabled students at Ontario’s provincial schools that the government has finally seen the light.” MPP Todd Smith stated. “However, the question remains for how long will the schools remain open?”
Today’s announcement is a follow up to a climb-down from the previous Minister that the schools would be open for the upcoming school year.
“Minister Hunter hasn’t made it clear whether the schools will be open past the end of the next year” added Smith. “Is this announcement just a band-aid for the government to get them through the next election campaign? Or, is the government actually committed to these life-changing schools?”
The 75 page consultant’s report, released last Friday, analyzes the different supports available at the provincial schools and clearly indicates those same services are not available in most school boards across Ontario.
“These schools never should have been on the table as a potential cost saving measure” added MPP Smith. “It’s sad to think this government would even consider trying to balance its’ books on the backs of our most vulnerable students and their families.
For Information Contact – Ashley Harnden – 613-962-1144 – firstname.lastname@example.org