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December 3, 2012

Board chair asks province, ‘Do you really believe in public education as we do?’

Board chair asks province, ‘Do you really believe in public education as we do?’
Janet McDougald acclaimed as chair, Suzanne Nurse acclaimed as vice-chair at organizational meeting

Trustees of the Peel District School Board acclaimed Janet McDougald, trustee for Mississauga wards 1 and 7, as chair. McDougald has been a trustee for 24 years, has served as chair for 15 years and was previously vice-chair for three years. Suzanne Nurse, trustee for Brampton wards 2 and 6, was acclaimed as vice-chair. Nurse is starting her seventh year in public office.

In her address, McDougald spoke of the underfunding of students in Peel and the current labour situation. She noted that, “Every day, we work hard to build confidence in public education. To build trust with our parents and students. This conflict and confusion seriously undermines this work.”

“As a board, we will stand up for what we believe in,” said McDougald, “We will continue to work to negotiate affordable agreements locally—that preserve student safety and ensure student progress. We will reach out to our local members of provincial parliament and explain the impact of Bill 115—and reiterate the ongoing financial impact of underfunding Peel. They may not be aware, for example, that there is a direct, immediate and negative impact of Bill 115 on the Peel board—the loss of seven million dollars of funding—this year alone. That is unacceptable to this board—and looking forward, the financial situation we will be placed in by the province is untenable. They are solving their issues by downloading them to us.”

Stated McDougald, “So tonight I ask the government a simple question. Do you really believe in public education as we do? Do you believe that it creates equity of opportunity and prosperity? It is the economic engine of this country. So, let’s work together to end this divisive situation in our public schools.”

McDougald finished her speech by vowing to continue to stand up for the students, families and staff of the Peel board. “We will be a voice for what truly puts students first. And we will not fall for anything.  Because we never forget our real mission—to inspire success, confidence and hope in each student.” 

Tony Pontes, director of education, spoke of the key priorities for the current school year, and the need to remain focused on the mission of the board. “I am so proud of the work we do at the Peel District School Board.  I have every confidence that, as a system, we will continue to do exceptional things to support each student, their families and each other.”

Read McDougald's remarks.
Read Pontes' remarks. 

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Media contact: Janet McDougald, Chair, Peel District School Board, 905-278-1402, janet.mcdougald@peelsb.com

Reference: Alison Farbar, Communications Officer (acting), Peel District School Board, 905-890-1010 (or 1-800-668-1146) ext. 2626, alison.farbar@peelsb.com

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