‘Small rural communities continue to be attacked’; school board plan ‘absurd’

The Editor:

South Stormont Mayor Jim Bancroft, at the Sept. 28 Council meeting following the news of the Upper Canada District School Board's proposal to close two schools in his township. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

South Stormont Mayor Jim Bancroft, at the Sept. 28 Council meeting following the news of the Upper Canada District School Board’s proposal to close two schools in his township. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

The closures proposed through the Upper Canada District School Board’s Pupil Accommodation Review process will deliver a devastating blow to South Stormont, specifically the area schools of Ingleside and Long Sault. On behalf of Council, I have reported that South Stormont is appalled by the lack of foresight by the UCSDB with the potential direction suggested in the Report.

In 2016 small rural communities continue to be attacked by funding models approved by the provincial government and driven by school boards. The idea of closing schools in up to five local townships to assist the school board with a speculative long-term potential plan to build a new school 10 to 15 years later is at best, absurd. South Stormont’s hamlets of Ingleside and Long Sault were created 60 years ago. Our residents had to relocate, understanding the hope for a new future, and these schools have been key building blocks of the communities. Sixty years later, we should not be forcing parents to change directions again with little chance in seeing any improvement of their children’s education.

The township will continue to reach out to the businesses as well as all individual community partners. School parents and representatives in Ingleside and Long Sault must be energized to reach out to all parents and help find a solution to the current challenge of these school closures. South Stormont Council will support the communities’ efforts in every possible means at our disposal. Together we will be successful.

Mayor Jim Bancroft
South Stormont

 

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