Situations sometimes unfold that force us to examine the status quo and question whether it is still acceptable.
The various school boards across the province looking at closing, amalgamating and potentially building new schools is an instance of that. This is especially true in rural Eastern Ontario, where the youth population is steadily declining and difficult decisions lie ahead for school board trustees.
Schools in these rural communities are not only formal places of education; they are often the centre of the community providing meeting and recreational spaces. The closure of such schools has a wide range of impacts, some quite profound.
Schools boards, however, find themselves with underused schools – some bizarrely so. It’s beyond doubt a review of these situations is necessary. It is the solutions to these situations that are problematic. More special funding for rural schools is being asked for, which is not an unreasonable request given the role these schools play. Is that the sole answer?
There is a larger question which should be posed.
Currently, we have four school systems serving the needs of Ontarians. Should we not reflect on whether this should remain the status quo?