Tuesday, January 26, 2010

'Save us, Leona'

A quick hit on an earlier post dampening expectations on recently appointed Minister of Education Leona Dombrowsky. The Niagara Advance provides another opportunity to remind everyone not to expect much if any different approach than what was in place with Kathleen Wynne.
Councillor Gary Zalepa Jr. says the new education minister, Leona Dombrowsky, former minister of agriculture and rural affairs, is no stranger to rural communities and the specific issues they face.
While Kathleen Wynne, who was moved from the education portfolio, was familiar with the situation facing NOTL's only high school, Dombrowsky, elected MPP from a largely rural area, can be expected to understand NDSS challenges, he said.
Dombrowsky was also involved in a survey conducted by the province recently to gather information about municipalities developing partnerships with school boards.
"She's no stranger to education issues, and she has a good grasp of rural issues. That could be helpful to us," said Zalepa.
"That's just my take on the cabinet shuffle, but I'm viewing this as something that could be positive for us."
He believes the document builds a good case for a high school in NOTL, and hopes the outcome could be a new, right-sized school for 500 students.
Yeah. OK. Let me add another element to this-- the school boards in Dombrowsky's own riding (Catholic, public) haven't escaped accommodation reviews. They're doing them, and on the Catholic page you can see the now-minister with a school consolidation announcement for a new school. The Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic board was an early adopter of Watson and Associates advice and reports.
Myself, I'd love to see that 10-point document Zalepa refers to the in the article. I don't know if the Niagara Advance would take a rational look at it, but I'm sure the St. Catharines Standard would.


Anonymous said...

"Save Us, Leona"

I'm thinking that for the purposes of the next provincial election Leona's going to try to convince Ontario that in fact Dalton has saved us:-)

Count on more re-annoucements of announcements and no explanation at all how boards are supposed to move ahead and tread water at the same time. Don't worry.....be happy!

Hey, wasn't that Dalton's mantra in response to Howard Hampton's call over two years ago when Ontario's economy began going south?

Anonymous said...

Leona can't save us ER. Making education relevant to students and supported by their communities is going to rely on each and every individual school community and their elected representatives(I include MPs, MPPs, Trustees, and School Council reps. in that category).

Those micro-managing ties that bind from the government need to be loosened somewhat so it can get back to keeping its promise to fund all educational communities appropriately and prove the money that has been spent has been spent wisely.

I stopped looking to governments to "save us" long ago.

What is it they say about all politics being local. It applies where education is concerned also.

One thing that has not been very clear to me of late, especially where Bill 177 was concerned is how the OPSBA helped trustees in lobbying the Minister for the changes to the Bill. It seems to me that with a municipal election on the horizon and folks perhaps considering a run at a trustee position, that the provincial overseer of boards would develop more of a public profile than it has at the moment.


Education Reporter said...


I don't understand your last paragraph (it could be me just having a brain fart). What do you mean by the provincial overseer having a more public role?


Anonymous said...

ER - I mean that apparently Bill 177 was amended to satisfy trustees. I had heard that OPSBA was instrumental in lobbying for those changes, but from here, they did this quietly when I believe that OPSBA, the overseer of school boards should have been more public in what they were doing. What did they lobby for exactly? Are they now satisfied with the outcome and Bill177. Where are they with respect to the ELP and the capability of boards to pay for them? That kind of thing.

I actually think they need a more public profile in general. OPSBA sees plenty of our taxdollars go to them through board admin. and trustee memberships. A more public profile would be helpful I guess.


Sandy said...

Hugo -- I love your title "save us Leona." That about explains what is going here in NOTL. I have given up writing about the topic, even though NDSS is just a mile from where I live. The childishness has gone beyond logic. Afterall, this is an election year, so things will only get worse. The OMB hearing has been put off till April I hear. What a waste of time for the hundreds of Virgil elementary school students, who are having to stay in very old buildings, lost past when at least one of them should have been torn down.

NDSS is closing at the end of June folks. Get over it and let the elementary school get built. They are two separate issues and those who are still fighting have simply torn the community apart.