Last week, the TDSB released a list of the 60 schools that have already been identified for closure or reorganization. 48 of these 60 are elementary schools. At this point, the Elementary Teachers of Toronto (ETT) has determined that these schools are the most likely to be targeted for closure.
Looking closely at these schools, we have found that the majority are projected to see enrolment increase over the next 20 years, and that most act as vibrant community hubs in their neighbourhoods, housing daycare facilities, parent and family centres, and general community programs and activities.
Most concerning is the fact that the majority of these schools are identified by the TDSB’s Learning Opportunities Index (LOI) as servicing the most at-risk students in our city. These learners face the greatest external challenges to education because of economic and social disadvantages.
Our public schools have always acted as a great social equalizer, attempting to give every student a level playing field from which to progress. Closing the schools and programs that support our most vulnerable students flies in the face of everything that the public education system stands for.
It is critical that we all work together to resist these closures and keep these schools open.