Rallies demand – “No closing of special schools!”

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Students, families and supporters of provincial and demonstration schools will hold rallies at five schools to send a strong message to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Education Minister Liz Sandals: these schools must stay open!

This spring, Sandals consulted with hundreds of stakeholders on the future of the schools, which cater to the special needs of blind, deaf and deafblind children, and children with severe learning disabilities. But while the minister has committed to keeping the schools open in 2016-17, their long-term fate remains unclear.

The president of OPSEU, Warren (Smokey) Thomas, has been passionate in his defence of provincial and demonstration schools. He qualified the recent announcement that schools will open in September as a reprieve – not the final verdict.

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“It’s quite clear that Ontario’s kids – especially the most vulnerable – were not on the Liberals’ radar,” he said. “Now students, parents and others have made good and sure Kathleen Wynne and Liz Sandals can no longer ignore them. We’re going to build on that awareness to get a firm commitment to keep the schools open.

“From one end of this great province to the other, ordinary people are rising up and telling this government they expect excellent public services that respond to their needs. These vulnerable kids need and deserve an education that will allow them to reach their full potential.

“We’re determined to ensure they get it.”- CNW

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