Ontario orders review of TDSB after ‘inappropriate behaviour’
WATCH ABOVE: Alan Carter explains why Liz Sandals announced the TDSB review.
TORONTO – The Ontario government is launching a review of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) after a series of personal and financial scandals over the past year.
“It is clear that the issues at TDSB go beyond simply competing personalities,” Education Minister Liz Sandals said during a press conference Tuesday. “I am concerned that the issues at the TDSB may be symptomatic of broader governance issues.”
Sandals placed Margaret Wilson, a former registrar at the Ontario College of Teachers and the secretary-treasurer of the OSSTF, in charge of the review which is expected to be completed before the end of the year.
Wilson will review the board’s operational and relationship issues including concerns about access to the director’s contract, and will investigate whether the board complies with provincial legislation.
Further, Wilson will provide recommendations on how to best conduct a broader review of the board’s current governance structure.
Sandals said parents shouldn’t worry about principals and teachers at individual schools as the review deals only with how the board is run.
Over the past four years, the Ontario government has sent in a special assistance team to deal with the board’s capital deficit, and ordered a forensic audit of the board in 2013.
“Despite this support, the board continues to be plagued by accusation of inappropriate behaviour, ‘insubordination’ and an ongoing ‘culture of fear’ among staff and elected trustees at the TDSB. These ongoing concerns have put public confidence in the governance of the TDSB at risk,” according to a news release about the review.
TDSB Chair Donna Quan released a short statement following Sandals’ announcement:
I welcome the announcement by Minister Sandals and agree that public confidence in our system is critical to student success and having strong school communities. Staff will cooperate fully with Ms. Wilson and the Ministry as it moves forward with its review of operational governance, relationships and compliance at the Toronto District School Board.
The Toronto District School Board is a leader in education. Student achievement, well-being and success continue to be realized in classrooms across the system. This review comes at a critical time and I look forward to a fresh start for the Board, students and staff.