The following letter was submitted to the Minister of Education.
RE: Waterloo Region school boards’ needs for September
Dear Minister Lecce,
We are writing once again to amplify the concerns we are hearing from parents, students, educators and two of our local school boards. Attached you will find letters we received from the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) on August 27th, and a letter from the Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) yesterday.
Both WCDSB & WRDSB trustees are asking for funding for reducing elementary class sizes. WRDSB first wrote to you with their funding needs on July 23rd, but with schools set to go back next week, this is the eleventh hour. Medical and education experts alike say smaller class sizes are the safest way forward, and social distancing needs to be funded.
The boards also find your suggestion that they utilize reserve funds to support a safe reopening unacceptable. Chair Herring, on behalf of the WRDSB wrote “Our reserves have been built up over many years of prudent financial management. They exist so that money is available to cover maintenance emergencies and other unexpected expenses, as well as to cover local priories and initiatives that are not funded by the province.”
Minister, now is the time to “pull out all the stops”. Listen to parents, educators and health experts. Respect school boards who know their school communities best. Give school boards the funding they absolutely need to ensure schools are safe in September. Please get back to us with a reply by September 11th, 2020.
Catherine Fife, MPP Laura Mae Lindo, MPP
Waterloo Kitchener Centre