Fighting locally is fighting gobally.

School closing is not a pedagogical issue. I mean it is not about what is best for educating children. It is a political one.

You could think that it is economical because if trustees do not participate in their documented plan to sell off vacant school sites, they will not be able to do the needed repairs to their buildings.

But it isn’t. Even if they sold 100 sites at $5,000,000 each, they could only raise ¼ or the needed two billion dollars needed.  Sales will not even help to solve their economic dilemma.

No, this is a political issue.

Since 1997, when the province took complete control of education financing, boards have seen their budgets slashed. To pay for salaries, heating and other unavoidable costs, they neglected the renewal of their buildings. In Toronto, this has lead to that two billion dollar figure.

You might see this as a case of benign neglect on the part of the province but that is also wrong.

This was premeditated.

Mike Harris and now the Liberals subscribe to the neo-liberal creed that believes that the public owns too much of the countries resources and that they need to transfer as much as possible into the hands of the private sector.

Theire actions based on this belief have lead to a number of problems in our society. the financial collapse of  capitalism this year is one.

You need only look to the promotion of public private partnerships that makes public services more expensive, less productive and less transparent to see this in action.

For schools it means that the believers want to close and sell as much as possible.

Forget making schools into community hubs. Forget holding land in reserve for future population growth. They want as much as possible to to sell them to rich interests be turned into profit making material as soon as possible.

This means that our small local fight to keep schools open is actually part of a global class based one. This is what makes what we are doing so exciting.

Keep up the fight.

Published on December 7, 2009 at 2:10 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. New article by Gill Templeman on — Why 20th Century School Consolidation Doesn’t Work in the 21st Century –

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