SDG adopts terms of reference for its education committee

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

SDG Counties is moving forward with its ad-hoc education committee, following last month’s call for an end to Ontario’s school closure moratorium.

Identified as one of its strategic priorities by the previous term of SDG Counties Council, the rural education file was advanced significantly.

In February, the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association, which represents 40 English-Public school boards and authorities issued a call to lift the six-year-old moratorium on school closures.

In preparation of any potential school closure battle in SDG, council approved the terms of reference March 20 for the new education committee.

The committee will have one elected official or lay-appointment from the public for each lower-tier municipality in SDG. The elected officials do not have to be members of Counties Council. Each lower-tier municipality will appoint a representative.

The warden will also serve as an ex-officio member of the committee. All committee appointments are for two years, and the goal is to have the committee meet four-to-six times per year.

During the February budget process, $15,000 per year was set aside to fund initiatives of the committee.

At the council meeting, several councillors spoke in favour of preparing now, just in case a Pupil Accommodation Review process affecting SDG schools is approved.

In a late-February interview with The Leader, Upper Canada District School Board chair John McAllister emphatically said that his board is not closing schools. There are 15 UCDSB schools located in SDG Counties.

The province has not responded to the OPSBA request.

No time-line was set by SDG Council for nominating representatives to the committee.

This article was originally written for the Morrisburg Leader.

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