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Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker has presented a petition in the Ontario Legislature calling on the Liberal government to reverse planned school closures.The Petition also calls on the government to review and fix the education funding formula in an effort to stop any further mass closures across rural and Northern communities.

"Shuttering 600 schools and then selling them off one by one – as is being done with Derby School – should not be acceptable to any

government, and yet that's exactly what is happening under the leadership of this current Liberal government," Walker said."People are very concerned about the negative impact of mass school closures on local communities. This petition aims to get the government to reverse all closure decisions since 2016."

Petitioners chose to make the moratorium retroactive to the year the government started using revised guidelines that critics say accelerated school closures across Ontario by excluding community impact from the discussion.

The petition, which was presented in the Legislature on November 22, contained over 200 signatures.

While the Progressive Conservative Party called for the moratorium on school closures in March, there is no official position to date from its leader Patrick Brown on reversing planned closures, nor on amending the funding formula. Currently some 600 schools in Ontario are deemed to be at fifty-percent capacity or less.

source: media release, MPP Bill Walker

 

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