School closure plan ‘absurd’: Bancroft

South Stormont Mayor Jim Bancroft, seen here in an April 2015 file photo, has blasted both the Upper Canada school board and the province for a school closure plan, which could see schools in Ingleside and Long Sault close by June. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

LONG SAULT – South Stormont’s mayor has come out swinging against the Upper Canada school board’s closure plan to address unused class space.

The board announced last week it’s going through a review of schools, which could see the closure of 16 schools by June and more under certain scenarios.

In a strongly-worded open letter, Jim Bancroft said the plans – which include the potential closure of the high school side of Rothwell-Osnabruck in Ingleside and Longue Sault Public – have “lack of foresight.”

“In 2016 small rural communities continue to be attacked by funding models approved by the provincial government and driven by school boards,” Bancroft said.

He said the idea of closing schools, only to build new ones 10 to 15 years later “is at the best, absurd,”

Bancroft said the township will continue to reach out to businesses and community partners to fight the plan. “Together we will be successful,” Bancroft said.

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