'Fix Our Schools' parent group draws attention to TDSB disrepair
Published Friday, February 27, 2015 7:38PM EST
When the temperature in a classroom at Runnymede Public School recently dropped to just 10 C, someone snapped a photo of the thermometer as proof.
Now, a group of concerned parents is sharing that image on Twitter and Facebook to draw attention to problems with Toronto District School Board buildings.
Krista Wylie, one of the parents behind the group Fix Our Schools, says the province should provide more funding.
“Our kids are attending schools in states of disrepair,” she says.
“Bottom line is they deserve to go to school in safe buildings.”
The TDSB says schools are safe, but admits there is a huge a repair backlog. About $3-billion worth of repairs still need to be completed.
Part of the problem is the age of the schools, says TDSB Chief Facility Officer Angelos Bacopoulos.
“There's probably no other board in province that has as many older schools as we have,” he says.
Minister of Education Liz Sandals says she’s concerned about students, but the TDSB needs to spend money more wisely.
“There’s been years when they’ve taken money (for) school renewal and it’s actually been diverted into overspending on new builds,” she says.
Sandals will meet with the TDSB next week. She has asked the board to provide a list of “priority repairs.”
Sandals says closing schools is one way to raise money. Of just under 600 schools city-wide, the TDSB says 130 currently operate at under 65 per cent capacity.
After pressure from the province, the TDSB said earlier this month that it will study 48 under-used schools that could be sold, closed or repurposed.