Statement by NDP Education Critic on Provincial and Demonstration School Announcement

Queen’s Park — Today, Windsor West MPP and NDP Education Critic Lisa Gretzky responded to the government’s announcement on the future of Provincial schools for the Deaf and hard of hearing as well as Demonstration schools for students with severe learning disabilities. This spring, the government undertook consultations with parents and students at Robarts School for the Deaf, Centre Jules-Léger and all English Demonstration schools. The consultation summaries were released on Friday and the government made an announcement on the future of the schools today.

“Today’s announcement finally brings some relief to parents, students and education workers who fought tirelessly to keep our Provincial schools for the Deaf and Demonstration schools for students with severe learning disabilities open. As the NDP Education Critic, and with the support of my NDP colleagues, I am proud to have fought alongside Demonstration and Provincial school families throughout the process.

The consultation summaries released last week highlight what families have been saying all along—our Provincial and Demonstration schools are vital to student success. Finally, the Wynne government has admitted this and backtracked on their short cited plan to close Provincial and Demonstration schools.

Over the past year, families faced uncertainty about whether or not their child would have a school to attend in 2016. The application process was frozen for months and the consultation summaries were released several weeks late. Families, students and education workers deserve more than just the one year commitment that was announced today—our successful provincial and demonstration schools must remain open in the long term."