Peel District School Board trustees are taking the #FixtheFormula message “on the road” with presentations at regional School Council meetings, municipalities and community leaders, and asking for their help to get the province to fix the formula for special education. The Peel board is funded the lowest of all 72 boards in the province per pupil for the Special Education High Needs Amount (HNA).
Says Janet McDougald, chair of the board, “Of course, we understand that someone has to be at the top of the chart, and someone on the bottom—funding amounts per capita are never the same. However, the funding formula should be fair. Currently, it is not. Our surrounding boards all receive considerably more per student: $375 in the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, $522 in the Toronto District School Board and $601 in the Halton District School Board. The Peel board receives $339 per student. I recognize that boards’ needs vary, but it’s the size of the funding variations that’s unacceptable to me as a parent, as a taxpayer and as a trustee.”
Continues McDougald, “Trustees have been meeting with local members of provincial parliament and asking them, as our partners, to advocate for Peel students at the provincial level—to fix the formula and fund Peel students fairly. We want them to make their voices heard and keep this issue front and centre so that the government can begin to phase in the changes and new funding can start with the grants for next school year.
“It is our understanding that the Minister of Education is considering a change to the HNA funding as recommended by the provincial working group. This is great news and I am optimistic that she will do the right thing. At the same time, we also recognize the many competing issues vying for attention at the provincial level. I want to make sure that #FixtheFormula is on the agenda. That’s why we are asking our School Councils, municipalities and community partners to add their voices and make sure this critical issue stays on the agenda.”
Meetings of chairs and council members will take place on:
Feb. 12, 2014, 7 p.m.
Mississauga Secondary School
550 Courtneypark Dr. W., Mississauga
Feb. 13, 2014, 7 p.m.
Judith Nyman Secondary School
1305 Williams Pkwy, Brampton
Feb. 18, 2014, 7 p.m.
SouthFields Village Public School
110 Learmont Ave., Caledon
The trustees and chair of the board are also delegating local municipalities, talking to faith leaders, community leaders and those representing special education organizations to ask for their help. Adds McDougald, “This is a community issue—one of underfunding, not overspending, but at least $14 million, and it will take the voices of the community to help #fixtheformula.”
Those interested in finding out more can visit www.peelschools.org/fixtheformula.
Media contact: Janet McDougald, Chair, Peel District School Board, [email protected], 905-278-1402
Reference: Brian Woodland, Director of Communications and Community Relations Support Services, [email protected], 905-890-1010 ext. 2812