Improving Equity

UPDATE NOVEMBER 2017 - No I do NOT support the Task Force Recommendations on:

  1. Eliminate the Gifted Program (I fought hard to expand it to
    AY Jackson and was successful)

  2. Eliminate Optional Attendance - This is unlikely to even be viable and would need much study and planning from staff to avoid schools closing and others going way over capacity

  3. I have fought for more speciality programs and will continue to fight to expand access to them.

 

A common message I hear from parents is that the TDSB needs to improve equity. Equity is a very broad term and there are certainly many areas to address including equitable access to programs and opportunities in hiring.

This past spring, as the Vice Chair of the Finance Budget Enrolment Committee, I discovered some facts that I found truly shocking:

  • One school with the TOPS program gets an extra teacher, but the other TOPS program does not and neither does the new STEM+ program at Georges Vanier

  • One arts school has an extra teacher as a Music Accompanist, but other arts schools do not and there are no extra staff for health and wellness academies like Donview or Rene Gordon

  • One school has an extra teacher for teaching horticulture to students with special needs, but not Don Mills CI even though it also teaches horticulture to students with the same special needs

  • Eight schools in Etobicoke have an extra office staff member to follow up on absent students

  • One school has a Laboratory Assistant to help with their science classes

  • Four high schools each get a Theatre Technician to help with their performances

Last year, Trustees voted to set up a task force to look critically at equity. As part of the task force, there were consultations in eight areas of the city. We hosted a consultation in Don Valley East on May 25th at Georges Vanier.

“I am committed to improving equity at the TDSB and tackling the staffing inequities at some schools.”