Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Alliance says thanks

Just a quick post— the Community Schools Alliance sent a letter recently to those municipalities who endorsed its summertime resolution to become members. The letter is over on my GoogleDocs. From the letter, authored by Southwest Middlesex Mayor Doug Reycraft:
We took this message directly to Education Minister Wynne during a recent meeting and in response to our concerns, the Minister provided us with a draft policy entitled “Encouraging Facility Partnerships”. While this policy is an important first step in addressing some of our concerns, it falls short of addressing our collective goal of protecting this vital component of our public infrastructure.
As a result, we need your help to encourage the Minister to implement a “smart moratorium” on disputed school closures by passing the attached resolution if you have not already done so.
The goal of the “smart moratorium” is to provide time for the Ministry, school boards and municipalities to work together to develop policies addressing issues such as planning for declining enrolments, a mutually agreed upon Accommodation Review Committee (ARC) process, a review of funding to rural and small community schools and establishing a working relationship between municipalities and school boards that is transparent and accountable.
The letter then provides a link to the alliance's website, where it has posted its Aug. 17 presentation, in addition to the cover letter and draft policy. See previous posts on those documents and the meeting here, here and here.
Here's what I'm waiting for:
  • A list of municipalities who've signed on and passed the alliance's resolution
  • The alliance's response to the draft policy, posted on its website
  • Details, details, details-- how does it see a redrafted accommodation review process that is 'more inclusive' of municipal wishes? How could a municipality's role change in the review process beyond what it may already be in many existing reviews? Etc.
  • This fall will see the creation of more reviews— how do alliance members intend to participate and proceed?
I doubt I'll ever get a response here, given the alliance frequently reads posts here and forwards them on to others but hasn't replied on the record to posts. Within my newspaper coverage my opportunity to do alliance stories isn't as broad as it may be elsewhere, given municipalities have accepted the disputed school closures here will go ahead regardless of anything they or the alliance might achieve. We're also at least a few months away from any review that would include a municipality that has become a CSA member.