TDSB rejects selling out schoolyards to fund much-needed repairs
Published Thursday, November 22, 2012 12:04PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 22, 2012 12:33PM EST
The Toronto District School Board has rejected a plan that would have seen certain parcels of playgrounds sold off in order to finance capital repairs amid a budget shortfall.
In a 15-7 vote late Wednesday, trustees rejected a capital plan that would have seen chunks of land sold from 127 schools in order to ease the impact of a capital spending freeze imposed by the province.
The board had agreed to study a plan for selling off portions of playground lands last June, setting a target of $100 million.
The plan angered some parents who spoke to CTV earlier in the week.
But the move now leaves uncertainty about where the cash-strapped board will find money to fix a number of schools in dire need of repairs.
Prior to the vote, Director of Education Chris Spence posted on his Twitter account that “severing land is one of very few options available to raise money for renewal.”
Following the meeting Wednesday night, a number of trustees who voted in favour of the plan expressed concern about where the money will come from.
“On behalf of our #TDSB students who need builds for Sep 2013 in the capital plan that you put on hold... Please end the pause,” Trustee Shelley Laskin posted on her Twitter page.
A spokesperson for Education Minister Laurel Broten said despite the vote, work is ongoing with the TDSB and the ministry in order to find a way forward.
The board did not rule out revisiting the plan to sever lands at a later date.