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Toronto Catholic District School Board

 

 

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Office of the Director of Education

Office of the Chair of the Board

 

 
December 21, 2018
 
Dear Parent/Guardian/Staff:
 
You have likely heard in recent news reports about cuts to education funding announced last week by the Provincial Government. Staff have been working since December 15 to confirm the impact of these cuts to our school communities. The cancellation of the funding for “Education Program-Other or EPO” will result in a reduction in funding to the Toronto Catholic District School Board of more than $655,000, with further information about funding for EPO programs to be determined in the next couple of weeks.
 
Staff and Trustees are worried about these and future cuts to education. We are committed to ensuring that students in the classroom are our number #1 priority, and we will continue to safeguard that students will have access to the resources and programs they need. Everyone is working diligently to minimize any impact of these reductions.
 
Hopefully, funding reductions may be absorbed through some modifications to program delivery but unfortunately, there are some areas where the impact of the funding reductions cannot be mitigated.
 
Specifically, from what we know to date, the following programs will change:
 
  • Tutors in the Classroom Program and Focus on Youth After School Program – both of these programs employ approximately 95 university, college and high school students on a part-time basis and these jobs cannot be maintained without financial support.

 

  • Recent funding for the transportation of students and youth in Care and Treatment Centers will be eliminated.

 

  • Support for senior students who have left the school system without a diploma (OSSD) will no longer be funded.

 

  • Funding for Well-being: Safe, Accepting & Healthy Schools and Mental Health will be reduced.

 

  • Indigenous Education, which enhances the learning of all students, and in particular those of indigenous backgrounds, has been cut.

 

  • Speak Up Projects, which empower students to take action and support student engagement, equity, achievement and well-being through experiences within the school community, will be cut.

 

  • Ensuring Equitable Access to Post-Secondary Education Pilots. No further funding will be provided.
 
Staff will continue to assess the funding cuts in the above and other areas announced by the Provincial government last week that have been reduced or eliminated and review options to minimize the impact on students.
 
Once again, we want to assure our families, our staff and our students that all of us are doing everything in our power to ensure that the needs of our students are met first and foremost. We will continue to do what we can to impress upon the Government of Ontario the importance of investing in education and not making further cuts to areas that will impact directly on our students and our schools.
 
Though this news has come at a time of the year when we are all trying to focus on the joy and peace of the Christmas season, we want to take this opportunity to remind everyone not to lose hope or faith. We encourage you to continue to pray for Catholic education, for our students, and for those who make important decisions that impact on all of us. We thank all of you for your support and involvement, and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
 
 
Sincerely,
Rory McGuckin                                                 Maria Rizzo
Director of Education                                        Chair of the Board
 
cc. All Trustees
     All Superintendents

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