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The real cost of closing rural schools

Rural Ontario is facing a critical social and structural concern – the closing of rural schools. There’s an alarming trend of local school boards closing low enrollment schools without considering the well-being of those students, their families and communities.

Schools are an integral part of the economic and service infrastructure necessary for prosperity in our agricultural and rural communities. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is committed to addressing issues like rural school closures.

Rural school closures were discussed extensively at a recent OFA Policy Advisory Council (PAC) meeting in Brockville. OFA members across all counties and regions share the concern of school closures – a result of cutbacks in operating expenses that’s done at the expense of rural students and communities. PAC members have identified these closures as a provincial concern and OFA will be working with regions impacted by the threat of rural school closures.

OFA opposes school closure decisions that are made without the consideration of critical factors that impact the students, rural families and communities. Too often important decisions like these are made without critical consideration to transportation, student employment opportunities and parental involvement.

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