Yrsb Presentation 2

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  • 1. By: Social Planning Council of York Region June 1, 2009
  • 2.
    • We are here to voice our concerns on a decision the Board has already made regarding cuts to yellow school bussing
    • We are not here to comment on the Board’s ongoing review of its transportation policy
  • 3.
    • Who we Are
    • Our Concerns
    • Impact of the Decision
    • What Children Need to Succeed
  • 4.
    • Our Mission:
    • We promote social and economic justice as well as active participation of the citizenry in all aspects of community life in York Region through:
      • Conducting community based research;
      • Promoting social planning;
      • Advancing community action.
  • 5.
    • Our Vision:
    • York Region Social Planning Council effects positive impact on the political, social and economic systems to enhance the quality of life of all residents in York Region, and in particular, of the diverse individuals and communities that are vulnerable and marginalized. We strive to be a model.
  • 6.
    • In 2006 York Region District School Board moved to change Policy #680 to re-define entitlements to yellow bus transportation to secondary schools from a distance criterion (4.8 km from the school) to a “transit served area” criterion
    • There was no cost or impact analysis done on the policy
    • Consultation with stakeholders was limited
  • 7.
    • Implementation of this policy has occurred at different times affecting different programs:
      • French Immersion in Newmarket in 2007
      • All French Immersion high schools Sept. 2008
      • Gifted programs, Arts, Sports and others
  • 8.
    • In October 2008 the Program Planning Committee of YRDSB confirmed further implementation, which affected 581 students who lost their yellow bus entitlement
    • This September 2009, the York Region District School Board is cutting out yellow bussing to ALL high schools in “Transit Served Areas”
  • 9.
    • The impact to specialty programs such as French Immersion, magnet and gifted programs is problematic and causes an obvious issue with respect to accessibility
    • There is inequality for a student who wishes to attend a specialty program that meets their educational needs, but cannot due to costs
  • 10.
    • Creates economic and geographic discrimination
    • Students from poor families, who already struggle to pay other school fees associated with field trips, computers/internet fees and other school supplies are further disadvantaged
  • 11.
    • Only the wealthy or those fortunate enough to live close to specialty schools will benefit from such programs since their children can be driven to school or can afford to pay for private transportation
    • Those less fortunate who wish to attend specialty schools but cannot due to cost or the long commute will ultimately be marginalized further perpetuating existing inequalities in our community
  • 12.
    • Creates costly requirements on families: $750 to $1200 per child per year for transit just so their children can go to school
    • Very long commute times with multiple transfers ranging from 45 minutes to more than 1hour
    • Safety is a concern: In some areas there are no sidewalks
  • 13.
    • Many major intersections are busy with little accommodations for pedestrians
    • Some students have to take 3 busses to get to school, only to be late as the bus arrival is after the bell
  • 14.
    • York Region District School Board is cutting quality in education and hindering equal access to speciality programs of Arts, Sports, Gifted and French Immersion
    • Children who come from low income families and suffer from poverty will be further disadvantaged from accessing education that is supposed to be universal
  • 15.
    • The Ministry of Education has fully funded the Board’s transportation expenditures
    • The Board has had a surplus each year since 04 totalling some 4.5 million dollars as outlined by the Effectiveness & Efficiency (E & E) Review by Deloittes
    • This decision is an outright cut to essential education programs which historically have been provided and paid for by the Board; now the burden is on parents to pay, yet there is no financial need to do this
  • 16.
    • Specialty programs such as French Immersion, magnet and Gifted programs meet the diverse needs of children across the Region:
      • Cutting Board provided transportation threatens equal access to education across our region
  • 17.
    • Our children need quality, fully funded, accessible education programs and services that meet their diverse needs
    • Therefore we implore the Board to:
      • Stop the cuts
      • Conduct a thorough cost analysis and impact study on current and future bussing
      • Engage the community in the process
      • Commit to continue the principle of Board- provided bussing services in York Region
  • 18.
    • This issue is important to students, their families and the community
    • The Social Planning Council, in collaboration with parents and community partners, will be launching a media campaign to raise public awareness around the harmful impacts of this decision
    • Thank you and We ask for your support
  • 19.
    • For the welfare of our children, please reverse the cuts and stop future cuts to bussing