School boards on different paths

By  Catholic Register Staff
  • January 16, 2007
TORONTO - The 416 and 905 area codes rounded off 2006 by continuing on separate paths over the financing of Catholic  education.
While Toronto's Catholic board was voting in budget cuts to wipe out a $34.6-million deficit over three years, the Dufferin-Peel trustees in Toronto's western suburbs were suing for divorce from their provincially appointed supervisor.

The province appointed veteran Catholic education bureaucrat Norbert Hartmann to oversee budget cuts in Dufferin-Peel after the Catholic board of education refused to file a balanced budget. Hartmann was instructed to form a "co-management team" with the board to slash the $16.6-million deficit.

At Dufferin-Peel's last meeting of 2006 the board voted to reject any participation in a team with Hartmann. Board chair Bruno Iannica has written a letter to Education Minister Kathleen Wynne objecting to her ministry's soft and fuzzy language, asking that the "co-management" terminology be changed to "reflect the fact that there will be no co-management team," according to the board's web site.

The Toronto Catholic District School Board decided to make its own cuts with an eye to future funding in the spring of 2007, rather than hand control to a provincial supervisor.

"Ongoing discussions with the government will lead to badly needed changes to the funding formula as it affects this board," said Toronto board chair Oliver Carroll in a press release. "We need to work more closely than ever with the provincial government to find solutions."

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