Province takes over Dufferin-Peel board

By 
  • February 8, 2007
Dufferin-PeelMISSISSAUGA, Ont. -  Government-appointed overseer Norbert Hartmann announced Feb. 5 that he is seizing control of the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board.

Ontario’s provincial government removed the powers of all 11 trustees over finances and staff.

The Toronto Star reported that Hartmann said the trustees have repeatedly refused to co-operate in restoring the school board to financial stability. Now staff will report directly to Hartmann and trustees will be excluded from all the board’s financial and operating affairs.

“This government, which was elected on fighting supervision, throwing trust to public education and fixing the formula, is now showing its true colours,” said board chair Bruno Iannicca, as reported in the Star. 

Just days before, trustees unanimously rejected Hartmann’s plan to eliminate the board’s remaining $7.5 million deficit and bring it into a surplus position by the end of the 2008-09 school year.

Hartmann’s plan is to reduce busing, high school teachers, special education, literacy supports, caretakers and secretaries in the next two years.

Most of these are the same things the trustees have refused to cut over the last year, alleging their board is the long-standing victim of a lack of provincial funding.

The trustees will continue to receive about $20,000 in salary annually, with the board chair earning $28,000.

The Dufferin-Peel school board is one of the largest in the province with 89,000 students in 141 schools in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga and an annual operating budget of about $660 million.

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