A group of parents from across the province will be heading to Queen’s Park on Monday, to protest how rural-area and small-town schools are funded.
Some boards have suggested that several schools in those areas may close, but parents say that will mean their kids will spend more time on buses, in some cases up to two hours a day, and miss out on extracurricular activities.
They will present the Minister of Education with a letter, asking for a moratorium for rural school closures, and for the province to change it’s Pupil Accommodation Review Guideline.
Executive director Annie Kidder tells The Canadian Press the education funding model disadvantages rural schools, which typically have smaller populations than their urban and suburban counterparts.
She says funding is mostly provided on a per-student basis, and that means schools with smaller populations, like those in small towns, have less money to pay staff and heat their buildings.
“Rural school closures means long bus rides. Students will leave home before sunrise and return after sunset. They will not be able to participate in extracurricular activities or hold a part-time job in their community, which many rely on for post-secondary tuition.” – Felicia Fahey, member of Ontario Alliance Against School Closures (OAASC)
**With a file from The Canadian Press