Okay, sure, Ontario municipalities are in the midst of school trustee elections, so it’s good politics for Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Trustee Josh Matlow to let the public know that there is something not right about the TDSB’s spending priorities. But he is also bang on because the voting public has a right to know to what extent the TDSB has ignored a broken infrastructure, including repairs and upgrades needed in school science labs. As this Toronto Sun article states:
“The TDSB continues to mismanage its spending priorities instead of focusing on fixing broken infrastructure, said Trustee Josh Matlow. As a result, students are suffering. I haven’t seen much evidence of (the labs being fixed), but that can be said about many priority needs around the system,” Matlow said. “That’s why I get so upset at the board when they spend money on things like expensive rallies at hockey arenas and other frivolous mis-expenditures that don’t reflect the needs of our students.
Do you know the board has not painted a single school since amalgamation in 1998?” he added. “There are fields looking like mud pits along with the (neglected) science labs. This is all politically charged. All the while, kids are waiting.”
The worse thing is that the neglect and spending on other priorities is essentially being rewarded by the Ontario government, who is allegedly going to provide the TDSB with an EXTRA $42.2 million this year to make repairs to schools, including the science labs — even though it is estimated that $82 million will be needed just for the science labs alone.
So, its now up to Toronto voters to only re-elect those trustees who have had the courage to speak out on behalf of the kids and the taxpayers. Sure, each such trustee is only one voice, but if the people of Toronto want more like that, then they are going to have to boot the rest out.
In fact, that would be a good message for all Ontario communities. On October 25th, 2010, don’t just vote in your municipal election for names of people you recognize. Whether for councillor or school board trustee, re-elect only those who have tried to listen to their constituents. Otherwise, elect a brand new mayor, as well as a brand new slate of candidates, school trustees included.