On April 21, 2017, the Ministry of Education released details for their upcoming consultation on Ontario’s Rural Education Strategy.
Ten consultations will occur across the province beginning May 5 and ending May 26, 2017. The consultations will include invitation-only daytime sessions with school boards and municipalities (including student trustees) and public community town halls in the evening.
In addition to the in-person meetings, the ministry has posted a document entitled Supporting Students and Communities: A Discussion Paper to Strengthen Education in Ontario’s Rural and Remote Communities. Feedback can be given via the online discussion paper. All comments are due June 9, 2017. OPSBA will be discussing the paper at an upcoming Policy Development Work Team meeting and drafting a submission.
The dates* and locations of the public consultations are:
- Merrickville, Friday, May 5
- Lakefield, Friday, May 5
- Picton, Friday, May 12
- Amherstburg, Tuesday, May 23
- Honey Harbour, Tuesday, May 23
- Thedford, Wednesday, May 24
- Markstay, Wednesday, May 24
- Markdale, Thursday, May 25
- Wawa, Thursday, May 25
- Nipigon, Friday, May 26
*All public town halls run from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
The town halls will focus on the following themes:
- What strategies work best for educating children in rural Ontario?
- How could the Province improve its policy and funding levers to better support these objectives?
- What can be done to assist rural communities planning collaboratively and making the best use of public assets?
On March 6, 2017, a letter was sent to school boards and municipalities from Education Minister Mitzie Hunter and Infrastructure Minister Bob Chiarelli. The letter addressed the “impacts of recent pupil accommodation reviews” and announced the creation of a Rural and Remote Education Review.
Three parliamentary assistants have been appointed to lead engagement and research gathering on how to sustain a strong education system in rural and remote Ontario. These MPPS are: Education PA: Granville Anderson; Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs PA: Grant Crack; and Municipal Affairs PA Lou Rinaldi.
Click here for the Ministry news release