On January 26th, The Urban Alliance on Race Relations (UARR) attended the TDSB Trustees Public Consultation Meeting on the Ontario Minister of Education Minister Liz Sandals Directions and the Margaret Wilson report to the Minister.
Our immediate past president Sharon Simpson made the UARR presentation to the board of trustees.
UARR Response to Minister Sandals Directions and The Wilson report
The Urban Alliance on Race Relations (UARR) was established in 1975 to educate and advocate on issues of anti-racism and other forms of discrimination.
The mandate of the UARR is to work to enhance respectful, peaceful and harmonious relationships among the different communities in our diverse and complex city.
For decades the UARR has worked with community partners to provide leadership on education policies, police and community relations and employment equity. We urge decision makers in both the public and private sector to adopt and implement progressive policies to make Toronto a more equitable and inclusive city for all.
The UARR has been a key community partners with the TDSB, and has provided input on TDSB policies regarding ESL and International Languages programs, school safety and other equity issues.
We value the important work done by the TDSB, especially on issues related to academic success of students from racialized, and marginalized communities. We can say with confidence that without the leadership and hard work provided by both trustees and senior staff over the many difficult years since amalgamation, our students and schools would be in much worse shape.
In our view the recent provincial report has gone too far. It pointed out issues of concern that are already known, but did not deal with why those issues occurred: the seriously flawed funding formula, the relentless pressure to close schools and sell school properties, and, worst of all, persistent demands to balance the board budget at all costs.
The province does all the pressuring. The Board, by contrast, has to deal with that pressure and at the same time provide a safe and encouraging learning environment to an increasingly diverse student population from literally all over the world.
For the sake of students, teachers, parents and the diverse communities that elected you, we encourage all TDSB trustees to work together to overcome this current situation. You should feel confident that the community has your back. Your voices are needed to ensure our students receive the education they deserve.
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