Fix Our Schools

Fix Our Schools

February 19, 2016 13:51 ET

Premier Wynne: Budget must allocate funding to fix our schools

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 19, 2016) - With a new provincial budget imminent, Ontario parents, teachers, childcare specialists and trustees are demanding that the Wynne government follow the Auditor-General's recommendations and address the $15-billion of disrepair in Ontario's publicly funded schools, $1.7-billion of which is both critical and urgent.

Ontario's Auditor-General confirmed that our provincial government has underfunded school repairs in this province by $5.8-billion over the past five years.

In an open letter sent on January 29, Fix Our Schools requested a coordinated response to the following three questions by February 19 from Premier Wynne, Deputy Premier Matthews, Minister Sousa, Minister Duguid, and Minister Sandals:

  • Will you, as a provincial government, release $1.7-billion to fix the critical and urgent disrepair the Auditor-General has confirmed exists in Ontario's publicly funded schools?
  • Will you increase annual provincial funding for school maintenance to provide the $1.4-billion/year to school boards that the Auditor-General has identified is required to maintain Ontario's publicly funded schools?
  • How will you address the remaining $13.3-billion of capital repair items that provincial governments have allowed to accumulate in Ontario's publicly funded schools?

A press conference with Krista Wylie, Co-founder of Fix Our Schools; Sam Hammond, President of ETFO; and Carolyn Fern head of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care will take place to publicly pose these important questions to our provincial government:

Queen's Park Media Studio
Monday, Feb. 22 @ 9:00 am
Contact: Krista Wylie, Fix Our Schools - 416-525-1540

Media Package Includes:

  1. Quotes
  2. Fix Our Schools - About Us
  3. Fix Our Schools Letter of Jan. 29, 2016 to Premier Wynne, Deputy Premier Matthews, Minister Sousa, Minister Duguid and Minister Sandals

1. Quotes

"We are asking Premier Wynne to take responsibility and allocate the funding required to Fix Our Schools," says Krista Wylie, a parent and co-founder of the Fix Our Schools Campaign. "The recent Auditor-General's report confirms that our provincial government has grossly and chronically underfunded the buildings where 2-million Ontario children spend their days. Schools are critical public infrastructure and must be funded as such. What could possibly be a higher infrastructure priority than making sure our children have safe, well-maintained schools to attend?"

"The lack of funding for school repairs is putting students and staff in many Ontario schools at risk. Every day, they are confronting serious health and safety issues because of the state of disrepairs." - John Smith, ETT President

"The majority of child care in this province is delivered in publicly funded schools so disrepair in these buildings impacts not only school-age children but also our very preschoolers who attend child care in many of our schools." - Carolyn Ferns, Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care

2. Fix Our Schools - About Us

We are grassroots, non-partisan, parent-led campaign creating a large network of citizens across Ontario who all expect that:

  • Every Ontario public school student attends a safe, well-maintained school
  • The $15-billion of disrepair across all 72 Ontario school boards is addressed
  • Public schools are funded as critical infrastructure - on par with transit

3. Letter Sent to Provincial Government on January 29, 2016

SUBJECT: How will your government address the $15-billion of disrepair in Ontario's publicly funded schools?

To: Premier Wynne, Treasury Secretary/Deputy Premier Matthews, Minister Sousa, Minister Duguid & Minister Sandals

CC: Acting Ontario Ombudsman Ms. Barbara Finlay

While we have heard back from the Minister of Education previously, we believe public school infrastructure must be prioritized by your government in the upcoming budget and, as such, we request a coordinated response to the following three questions from all parties to whom this letter has been addressed:

  • Will you, as a provincial government, release $1.7-billion to fix the critical and urgent disrepair the Auditor-General has confirmed exists in Ontario's publicly funded schools?
  • Will you increase annual provincial funding for school maintenance to provide the $1.4-billion/year to school boards that the Auditor-General has identified is required to maintain Ontario's publicly funded schools?
  • How will you address the remaining $13.3-billion of capital repair items that provincial governments have allowed to accumulate in Ontario's publicly funded schools?

The 2015 Auditor-General's report clearly shows that your government has grossly and chronically underfunded the buildings in which 2-million Ontario children spend six hours each day. With new infrastructure money coming from our federal government and a new provincial budget in the works - now is the time to take action and Fix Our Schools.

Publicly funded schools are a key component of our society's infrastructure - and must be funded as such. Your government's current commitment of $11-billion in capital grants to school boards over 10 years is insufficient. More publicly funded schools in this province must be repaired and rebuilt - and we must do it faster.

We look forward to hearing back from you with a coordinated response to our questions above by February 19, 2016.

Kind regards,

Krista Wylie - Co-Founder, Fix Our Schools Campaign

On behalf of the over 1500 Ontario citizens currently engaged in this campaign

Contact Information

  • Media Contact
    Krista Wylie
    Fix Our Schools
    (416) 525-1540