Well, it’s been a busy but exhilarating week of doorknocking and events. I’ve been so struck by the interest, insight and passion for education that I’m hearing in chatting with Ward H residents on doorsteps and our in the community.
I wanted to take a moment as we head into a new school year to share my thoughts on a very important decision made this week by the EPSB that didn’t get a lot of attention. With all the talk about bigger class sizes and stretched school budgets, many people were surprised to see the Board reverse a planned fee increase for groups who lease space in school buildings. This was a courageous move, and it shows they were listening to communities. It’s absolutely the right decision, and I applaud the EPSB for reconsidering the rate hike.
Budgets are tight, but we can’t afford to squeeze out the non-profit groups like daycare centres and after-school programs who lease space in schools. These aren’t just our tenants, they’re essential services that support families and school communities to give kids a great start. We need more of these partnerships, not less; leasing these spaces at reasonable rates is a fantastic way for schools to knit neighbourhoods together and support students outside the classroom. That’s definitely the message that I heard this week as well at the South West Early Years Coalition meeting that I was able to attend.
Let’s keep schools open as active partners in our communities. If elected to serve as Trustee, these local partnerships with community groups will have my full support.