Beside the obvious error in logic (yet another report where the writer explains the committee's role as making the decision when it's not), I'm left wondering whether Coun. Keith Riel would have said the same thing had the current recommendation on the floor for Kawartha Pine Ridge DSB trustees been to close a school other than Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School.
"This view is one shared by hundreds of people with whom I have spoken over the past few weeks," the letter (written by Riel) states. "In my view, there has been insufficient attention paid to the many alternatives available to the board to reorganize its services in a way that will maintain all four schools as valuable educational resources for current and future generations."I would have bumped up this note at the end of the article a little higher. Mostly because Riel, as an elected city councillor, no longer really participates in anything within the city as a 'private citizen.' He doesn't stop being a member of city council when he does Put Students First business.
NOTE: Coun. Keith Riel is also a member of Put Students First — a new group, made up mostly of TASSS supporters — that has prepared its own plan of how to keep TASSS open by creating new and enhanced arts, science and technology programming. The group won't reveal details of the plan until presenting them to trustees Aug. 25. Riel said he's in the group as a private citizen.
Despite how the article makes it seem that municipal involvement in this process is an unusual thing, there are good examples across the province where school boards and municipalities do get along (or at least when they find it of benefit). So is Peterborough going to go the London route, where they just crap on everything the school board does because they don't like the options? Or will the city choose to bring viable options to the table that trustees can actually act on in good conscience?
Declining enrolment is a reality city council needs to deal with, just as the KPRDSB does. Status quo is not an option and care needs to be taken with specialty programming-- while it might lead to enrolment increases in a few schools, the pool of students to draw from is fixed and as time passes, decreasing.