Catholic board on track to regain control

  • June 15, 2010
Toronto Catholic District School BoardTORONTO - It's been more than two years of provincial supervision for Canada's largest Catholic school board.

But having Toronto Catholic District School Board trustees back in power is a reality that could be in place by November, after the next trustee elections, according to a recent letter by Ontario
Education Minister Leona Dombrowsky to provincially appointed board supervisor Richard Alway.

In the June 9 letter, Dombrowsky said the board would have to pass an audit of its 2009-2010 financial statements to confirm that it has balanced its budget.

“If those statements confirm that the board has retired its accumulated deficit, I will expeditiously undertake the process to return the board to full local control,” Dombrowsky wrote.

In a June 7 letter to the education minister, Alway reported that the board will have a balanced budget for this year and the next two years until 2012-2013. In the letter, Alway said the projected
balance for the next few years “is both fiscally and educationally sustainable, featuring modest reinvestments in smaller class sizes in Grades 4-8, in information technology, improved human
resources and governance processes.”

Alway told The Catholic Register that the minister's letter is echoing the positive steps taken at the board to re-establish stability and transparency in governance.

“I think the signal is that (the Catholic community) should have real confidence in their school board. The operation is being conducted in a financially responsible way,” he said. “We're doing
this, while keeping our eye firmly on the primary goal of student achievement.”

Murielle Boudreau, chair of the Greater Toronto Catholic Parent Network, says the group is pleased to hear that trustees could be back in power soon.

“We have been without any control. The government has been running our board. That's just wrong. I'm looking forward to the election and new trustees,” she said.

Meanwhile, former board chair Catherine LeBlanc-Miller suggested a “co-management” arrangement where trustees work with the board supervisor to prepare the board when it comes out of

In other news, as of June 11, there are 17 trustee candidates for the October municipal election.

So far, there have been only four wards (Wards 5, 6, 9 and 12) which have at least two candidates in the running. The rest have only one candidate with no one running in Ward 4, the seat
occupied by current trustee Mary Cicogna. Three sitting trustees are also running: John Del Grande (Ward 7), LeBlanc-Miller (Ward 9) and Sal Piccininni (Ward 3).

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