Following the candidates who were running in my district (meaning the one I voted in and would have been reporting on were I not on this fellowship), I didn't get the sense that the 'anti-closure' candidates won. They didn't in my ward-- the one public and one Catholic candidates running on more or less of an anti-closure platform weren't elected. Of three trustee spots, two went to longtime incumbents and one went to a newbie, who has never to my knowledge campaigned against school closures.
Within the City of London (same educational district as where I voted), all six incumbent public trustees were reelected on Monday, despite some bitter battles in some city neighbourhoods over the school closures there. Further, the board will look to strike more school-closure reviews within the city proper in this next term than it has in the last three years. In the Catholic board there are many new faces, but it's due to retirements not school-closure related issues.
I haven't looked into the Simcoe County boards, but trustees in the public board put off a heated decision on five high schools in the county's northwest for the new term of trustees and I'd be curious if this was any sort of a defining issue in the campaign.
A comment earlier this week pointed to a belief that school closures would just stop some time in the next year as the Liberal government doesn't want an election campaign while trustees are voting to close more schools. I don't buy it. Here's why:
- School-aged populations outside of the GTA continue to drop
- The government isn't about to do an about-face and start funding renovations and technology upgrates at schools with small populations
- I don't see the Liberals going easy on many boards (OK, perhaps a few) when it comes to budgets, and will force them to consolidate and then use 'savings' to cover FDK expenses.