LONDON — The government’s $67.4-million cut to London-area schools in desperate need of infrastructure improvements became a serious safety issue for hundreds of TVDSB students and teachers this week, when more than 600 students had to cram into a Masonville Public School building with capacity for just over 200 students.
The disruption happened after extreme cold led to power outages in 14 Masonville portable units used as classrooms — infrastructure that is already badly overstressed, said Terence Kernaghan, MPP for London North Centre.
“Portables are meant to be short-term solutions, but the past government’s underfunding of schools and school repairs, and now, the government’s deep cuts, are forcing schools to use portable classrooms on an ongoing basis, even as they deteriorate,” said Kernaghan. Masonville administration and educators do their utmost to ensure a high-quality education for youth, but this shows how the government has taken our province backwards. In addition to the $67.4-million cut to London-area schools, the government ripped a $100-million school repair fund away from schools, province-wide.
“Masonville students, educators and administrators would not have been in this unsafe and disruptive situation in the first place had the government not slashed critical funding slated for London-area school projects. Years of neglect by past governments have led to a $16-billion repair backlog for Ontario schools. Now, the government is making things worse for kids and teachers.
“London-area students and their families deserve better.”