MPPs call for rejection of school closure plan

SDSG MPP Jim McDonell. (MPP Office via Newswatch Group, File)

EASTERN ONTARIO – Two local MPPs are calling on the Upper Canada District School Board to reject a closure plan for schools in their ridings.

Jim McDonell in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry and Steve Clark in Leeds-Grenville are shocked and disappointed at the plan to be discussed by school board trustees Wednesday night.

The proposal would see 16 schools in Eastern Ontario closed by June 2017 and a further 13 closed if the board receives government cash for new schools or renovations.

You can read more about the sweeping plan here.

McDonell said the proposal would eliminate any high school between Cornwall, Vankleek Hill to the east and Prescott to the west.

“It is unconscionable to expect them (parents) to put up with closures and the inconvenience and crowding they are likely to present to parents and students,” McDonell said.

In Leeds-Grenville, Clark recounted being through the Boundary 2020 restructuring in 2008.

“Communities here have already been torn apart by that painful process, which results in the closure of schools that were central to life in these places,” he said.

Both MPPs are calling on the education minister to come up with a better funding formula to support rural schools.