UPDATED June 2, 2016:
Good news! Toronto Eastern Rite schools transportation issue resolved – thanks to our parents and community members who turned out to support this important cause!
What happened tonight?
Tonight approximately 200 parents and community members members attended the TCDSB meeting at the board offices. The community members in the gallery were also joined by several members of the clergy from St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church, and His Excellency Stephen Chmilar, Eparch of Toronto and Eastern Canada for the Ukrainian Catholic Church. Thank You to everyone who put aside their other plans and joined us in the gallery to support us on this important issue!
Although the meeting was scheduled as a regular meeting of the “Student Achievement and Well Being, Catholic Education and Human Resource Committee”, the 2016/17 budget review was added to the end of the agenda. The meeting began at 7:20pm.
In spite of the short timelines we were given to address this issue, the Education Committee of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Toronto worked in partnership with the CSPC chairs of the three schools to identify a team of speakers who would speak out against the proposed Eastern Rite schools transportation cuts at each of the upcoming TCDSB meetings.
I am very proud to report at tonight’s meeting, we had four passionate, impactful and highly effective presentations to the TCDSB trustees on behalf of our community, on behalf of our children and the children of future generations of Eastern Rite Catholics. Thanks to the representatives of the three schools and to Father Kachur for their hard work and time invested in preparing and delivering your presentations!
(Aside: a complete list of parent and community speakers will be acknowledge and thanked in a separate note at a later date.)
Following our delegation’s presentation, the student achievement meeting continued and concluded its planned agenda at 8:45pm. Trustees began discussions on the budget in earnest around 9pm.
Trustees asked questions and voted on the recommended expenditure reductions one at a time (pages 78 and 79 of 173 of the June 2 agenda).
I’m delighted to say the proposed cuts to transportation for students of Eastern Rite schools were removed from the list of cuts. A motion was made to withdraw the proposed cuts to Eastern Rite transportation from the list of proposed transportation cuts. The motion was made by Trustee Crawford and seconded by Trustee Andrachuk. It passed by a vote of 6-4.
What are the next steps?
The community update meeting for June 5 is cancelled. The call to come out for the TCDSB meetings on June 6 and 9 is also withdrawn.
We thank everyone for their support, specifically the CSPC chairs and those parents and community who prepared to speak at the TCDSB meetings, whether they spoke tonight or were preparing to speak next week.
We also thank all the parent and community members who came out in such great numbers to support tonight’s delegation.
The community would like to extend our thanks to the TCDSB trustees who agreed that transportation to the Eastern Rite schools is an essential part of allowing our children to attend these schools, which have been an integral part of the TCDSB community for the past 50 years.
Chair, Education Committee
Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Toronto
UCC Toronto calls for parents and community members to show their support at the TCDSB Office at 7:00 pm on June 2, June 6 and June 9:
The Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) is currently considering its 2016-2017 budget that it needs to submit to the provincial government by the end of June. Within the draft budget, TCDSB is looking for opportunities to implement approximately $20M CAD worth of cuts. One of the cuts being proposed by the TCDSB staff is to cancel bussing services for the three Eastern Rite Catholic schools, namely St. Demetrius, St. Josaphat and Josyf Cardinal Slipyj schools. The budget is currently being reviewed by the TCDSB’s twelve trustees.
Please learn more about this issue in the full article by New Pathway.