February 10th, 2015

Liberals forcing school closures with “bogus” numbers: NDP MPP Tabuns

TORONTO – NDP Education Critic Peter Tabuns demanded the Liberal government call off its unrealistic deadline for Toronto’s school closure plan, as a new report reveals the Liberals are using misleading information to justify their heavy-handed tactics. 

“It’s irresponsible for the Liberals to put Toronto’s public schools on the fast-track to closure, but it’s downright reckless to demand school closures based on bad math,” said Tabuns. “Parents and elected trustees cannot make crucial decisions about the future of our schools based on the Liberals’ shoddy numbers.”


Minister Sandals has repeatedly defended the Liberals’ forced school closure plans by claiming that empty seats cost over $1 billion per year, but a new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives,Harris-Era Hangovers: Toronto School Trustees' Inherited Funding Shortfall, reveals that “The number is bogus.” The vastly inflated figure includes nearly sixty percent of the total cost of principals and office staff in Ontario. The report concludes that such a claim is “simply not credible.”

“The Liberals are manufacturing a crisis by inflating the cost of empty spaces to justify school closures and hide their cuts to education,” said Tabuns. “The Premier promised not to impose these reckless, Harris-style school cuts. But the Liberals are breaking that promise and making up their own facts to justify school closures. Our community schools are too important to be jeopardized by these political games.”

The CCPA report comes just a day after Elementary Teachers of Toronto revealed that more than two-thirds of elementary schools at risk of closure are located in Toronto’s poorer neighbourhoods, meaning the most vulnerable kids will pay the highest price under the Liberals’ plan.
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