Ontario's NDP

Ontario's NDP

August 31, 2007 19:48 ET

NDP: Dalton McGuinty "Stability" Means Cuts to Education Services and Programs in Dufferin-Peel

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 31, 2007) - NDP Education Critic Rosario Marchese says Dalton McGuinty is desperately trying to cover up his record of cuts in the classroom with a last minute attempt to restore democracy at the Dufferin Peel Catholic Board.

"Dalton McGuinty is desperately trying to cover his record of broken promises to students and parents. Nothing he's done today changes the fact that he usurped democratically elected trustees in order to force cuts in the classroom," Marchese said.

Today the Minister of Education announced that control of the Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board was being returned to the duly elected trustees. Marchese says the board's deficit has been eliminated due to a series of cuts to services and programs and because of a flurry of pre-election spending designed to hide serious problems in the funding model.

Catholic School Board Trustee, Anna Abbruscato, said it was McGuinty's broken promise to fund schools properly that led to the board's problems.

"This was a government takeover and it should never have happened," said Abbruscato.

Former DPCDSB Chair and NDP Candidate for Davenport Peter Ferreira says McGuinty forced the Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board to make cuts. Ferreira was removed as chair of the Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board after he and fellow school board trustees refused government orders to cut classroom programs. Those included the Reading Recovery program for kids who need help learning to read.

"The Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board was used as a scapegoat and as an example to other boards that were facing deficits. The message was clear to boards: hide your deficits and prop up the inadequate funding model or be punished," said Ferreira.

"These trustees have refused to preside over cuts to programs which would short change students. They refused to support cuts to staffing which would compromise the health and safety of their students," Marchese said.

Marchese said McGuinty's announcement will do nothing to alleviate the parents' sense of outrage over the way they have been treated and their children have been short changed.

"Parents will still be faced with permanent cuts to staff, bussing, and support programs like 'Reading Recovery'. Parents will also have to live with millions of dollars worth of deferred maintenance which will result in schools which are less clean, less healthy and less safe," Marchese said.

Contact Information

  • New Democratic Party of Ontario
    Robin Nieto
    (416) 591-5455, ext.490