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Current Research on School Closures & Fiscally Prudent Alternatives to Closing Schools June 21 st, 2012 Ontario PCs Education Consultation Peterborough.

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Presentation on theme: "Current Research on School Closures & Fiscally Prudent Alternatives to Closing Schools June 21 st, 2012 Ontario PCs Education Consultation Peterborough."— Presentation transcript:

1 Current Research on School Closures & Fiscally Prudent Alternatives to Closing Schools June 21 st, 2012 Ontario PCs Education Consultation Peterborough Bill Templeman of SaveLocalSchools.com

2 CONSULTATION TOPICS 1. Safe Schools and Students 2. Schools as Community Hubs 3. Tools to make the 21st Century Learner world Ready 4. School Board Accountability

3 THIS PRESENTATION PRIMARILY SPEAKS TO POINT 4: 4. School Board Accountability

4 ANALYSIS Ontario has 2 big problems in their education file : DECLINING ENROLLMENT FISCAL CONSTRAINTS

5 THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT HAS DECIDED TO FIX BOTH PROBLEMS WITH A ……

6 THIS IS THEIR HAMMER: CLOSE SCHOOLS

7 BUT A HAMMER IN THE WRONG HANDS CAN DO A LOT OF EXPENSIVE DAMAGE

8 THE ONTARIO GOVERNMENT THINKS CLOSING SCHOOLS WILL: SAVE MONEY IMPROVE EDUCATION BY BUSING STUDENTS TO BIG SUPER SCHOOLS WITH LARGER & MORE MODERN FACILITIES

9 THE ONTARIO GOVERNMENT IS WRONG. CURRENT RESEARCH AT THE END OF THIS PRESENTATION SHOWS CLOSING SCHOOLS WON’T SAVE MONEY WON’T IMPROVE STUDENT LEARNING

10 THERE ARE SMART ALTERNATIVES TO CLOSING SCHOOLS

11 SET UP WIN-WIN MULTI-USER PARTNERSHIPS WITH OTHER AGENCIES SUCH AS SENIORS CARE, DAY-CARE, LIBRAIRIES AND OTHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS TO SHARE UNUSED SCHOOL SPACE. SAVE TAX DOLLARS

12 NO SCHOOLS SHOULD CLOSE. INSTEAD, FIND COMMUNITY PARTNERS TO SHARE USE OF EMPTY SPACE

13 THE GOVERNMENT IS PERMITTING SCHOOL BOARDS TO IMPLEMENT THIS POLICY AT A LOCAL LEVEL, GETTING PROVINCIAL POLITICANS OFF THE HOOK AND DUMPING ALL ACCOUNTABILITY ON SCHOOL BOARDS

14 THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SCHOOL BOARDS AND THE GOVERNMENT IS GOVERNED BY THE EDUCATION ACT. THIS ACT SAYS THAT SCHOOL BOARDS HAVE THE POWER TO MANAGE THEIR OWN FACILITIES

15 SCHOOL BOARDS ARE ELECTED EVERY 4 YEARS, RIGHT? THEREFORE THEY ARE ACCOUNTABLE, RIGHT? SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

16 UNDER THE PROTECTION OF THE EDUCATION ACT, A SCHOOL BOARD CAN DO A LOT OF DAMAGE IN 4 YEARS

17 DURING THOSE 4 YEARS LOCAL COMMUNITIES HAVE NO ACCESS TO DEMOCRATIC DECISION MAKING OR MEANS TO INFLUENCE BOARD MEMBERS

18 remember…….. CLOSING SCHOOLS DOESN’T SAVE MONEY OR IMPROVE STUDENT LEARNING

19 SO WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?

20 PROVIDE MORE OVERSIGHT OF SCHOOL BOARDS. SCHOOL BOARDS NEED ACTIVE GOVERNANCE

21 HOW?

22 1. APPOINT AN OMBUDSMAN TO CHALLENGE SCHOOL BOARDS AND THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

23 2. REDUCE THE SIZE OF LARGE REGIONAL SCHOOL BOARDS SO LOCAL COMMUNITIES HAVE MORE REPRESENTATION

24 3. MAKE ALL DIRECTORS OF EDUCATION EMPLOYEES OF THE MINISTRY

25 RESEARCH THE REST OF THIS PRESENTATION SUMMARIZES THE RESEARCH FINDINGS ON THE EFFECT OF SCHOOL CLOSINGS ON COST SAVINGS AND STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES. LINKS TO RESEARCH WEB SITES ARE INCLUDED

26 Current Research on School Closures & Fiscally Prudent Alternatives to Closing Schools – Bill Templeman of SaveLocalSchool.com Researchers found that school closures and consolidations into larger schools don’t save money or improve learning: Petrie.pdf

27 Current Research on School Closures & Fiscally Prudent Alternatives to Closing Schools – Bill Templeman of SaveLocalSchool.com In many places, schools and districts (school boards) are already too large for fiscal efficiency or educational quality; deconsolidation is more likely than consolidation to achieve substantial efficiencies and yield improved outcomes. Petrie.pdf

28 Current Research on School Closures & Fiscally Prudent Alternatives to Closing Schools – Bill Templeman of SaveLocalSchool.com Financial claims about widespread benefits of consolidation are unsubstantiated by contemporary research about cost savings and learning (outcomes) Petrie.pdf

29 Current Research on School Closures & Fiscally Prudent Alternatives to Closing Schools – Bill Templeman of SaveLocalSchool.com Claims for educational benefits from systematic school consolidation are vastly overestimated and have already been maximized. Schools that are too large result in diminished academic and social performance. Petrie.pdf

30 Current Research on School Closures & Fiscally Prudent Alternatives to Closing Schools – Bill Templeman of SaveLocalSchool.com Overall, (government) consolidation proposals appear to serve a public relations purpose in times of fiscal crisis, rather than substantive fiscal or educational purposes Petrie.pdf

31 Current Research on School Closures & Fiscally Prudent Alternatives to Closing Schools – Bill Templeman of SaveLocalSchool.com Fiscal Impacts of School Consolidation: Research Based Conclusions

32 Current Research on School Closures & Fiscally Prudent Alternatives to Closing Schools – Bill Templeman of SaveLocalSchool.com School and school district consolidation produces fewer fiscal benefits and more fiscal costs than is popularly believed. Administrative cost savings are most likely, but these savings may often be largely offset by other cost increases, especially for transportation.

33 Current Research on School Closures & Fiscally Prudent Alternatives to Closing Schools – Bill Templeman of SaveLocalSchool.com Consolidating schools can also adversely affect the local economy, reducing the fiscal capacity of the school district.

34 Current Research on School Closures & Fiscally Prudent Alternatives to Closing Schools – Bill Templeman of SaveLocalSchool.com According to Dr. Ken Leithwood at OISE, big schools produce inferior learning outcomes compared to smaller schools. High schools should not have more than 1000 students chool_Size_%20Effects.pdf

35 Current Research on School Closures & Fiscally Prudent Alternatives to Closing Schools – Bill Templeman of SaveLocalSchool.com FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT Bill Templeman at (705) THANK YOU!


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