Hundreds attend a GECDSB public input session at Harrow District High School on March 2, 2015. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

OSSTF Urges School System Merger

Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation District 9 President Jeff Brosseau is urging the public push the issue of merging the provincial school systems to their MPPs.

The comments were voiced at a public input session in Harrow on Monday night as the public school board works through an accommodation review of five schools.

Brosseau feels uniting the Catholic and public systems will mean savings and fewer school closures.

“A difficult conversation for some is the fact that we fund too many school systems in the province of Ontario. Right now we have four school systems. [The OSSTF] believes there should be only two school systems in the province; one in English and one in French,” says Brosseau.

He feels merging the current school systems would mean less need for accommodation reviews like the one being conducted by the Greater Essex County District School Board in Amherstburg, Harrow and Kingsville.

“I don’t think it would fully prevent them,” says Brosseau. “I think it would reduce the number of times we have to have these conversations because any time you can find efficiencies and turn those dollars back into, whether it’s programs or money that can be spent on the students in the schools, that would hopefully, and I expect, lead to fewer of these types of meetings.”

In an email to BlackburnNews.com, Education Minister Liz Sandals says, “[Our Government] will continue to respect our constitutional obligations with respect to Catholic schools,” and encourages all boards to, “consider joint use of their facilities to focus funding on students programs and success.”

– with files from Jason Viau