The chair of the Near North District School Board says creating one school board for all of Ontario makes financial sense. Dave Thompson says there are automatic savings because there wouldn’t be a need for top administrators. However Thompson says that’s not where the real savings are. He says the big bucks would be through school consolidations.
As it stands now the various boards in the region can only close or merge schools with facilities under their own jurisdiction. However Thompson says that condition disappears under the one board concept. So schools right now in the same neighbourhood belonging to different boards that are only half full could become 100 per cent occupied if they consolidate under one roof. He says this makes the students big winners because that creates opportunities for more varied programming.
Thompson says a publicly-run one board system is perfectly able to offer religious programs as well as different languages. Thompson says the Near North board and other public boards want one school board for all to become a provincial election issue. He says the education system in Ontario needs to be reviewed because it’s 100 years old. However Thompson notes that except for the fringe parties like the Green Party and Northern Ontario Party, the three mainstream parties are silent on this matter.