It does appear that once again the Halton District School Board is misleading the public about a French Immersion preference at Palermo Public School as they push Ward 4 again into another boundary review because they refuse to control how French Immersion programming is delivered.
Many in our community are telling us that their belief is that the board’s complete refusal to properly manage this optional program puts the community school at risk and ensures the mandated English programming students are once again treated as second class citizens.
Halton residents have been demanding for years honest and fair management of how education is delivered in Halton.
It comes as no surprise to the many who have participated in boundary reviews, attended meetings or are part of the rarely supported English community that the HDSB seems to be once again pushing their FI agenda by inaccurately portraying communities’ support for French Immersion.
The latest recent claim again that Palermo Public School is overcrowded because the community has a preference to French Immersion is to many an absolute distortion of the figures and facts. The boundary for FI is 5 times greater than that of the English for this school. To the community that is the only reason it appears that this community favours the optional program. The continued misrepresentation of how ‘favoured’ this program is is completely offensive to those living in Ward 4.
When the motion was tabled by the Ward 4 trustee Kathryn Bateman Olmstead it did not include any protection for balanced numbers for both streams of education. As the trustees discussed where the boundaries would exist, the board was fully aware that they were forcing a 5 times larger boundary for FI taking kids outside the Palermo community and busing them to this school.
The entire board knew because the Director also noted publicly that they would not force equal enrollment protections and would not include a method to ensure protection even when the community demanded the protection even though all acknowledge the 5X greater FI boundary.
Since that time, a new Director has come to the board. Ward 4 residents have warned all members of the board, press, Ministry of Education and anyone else who would listen that the overcrowding was being deliberately forced onto this school by an unfair FI boundary.
Here are only some of the questions community residents are asking the Halton District School Board:
When will this board stop forcing FI into the local community schools in such an unethical way?
When will this board implement fair and manageable methods of delivering an optional program?
How may boundary reviews will be forced onto the same community before the Ministry of Education finally does something about a board that seems to advocate for only a select few?
When will the mandated English population be protected above all other optional programming?
When will community schools be protected and remain community schools?
When will money stop being wasted busing kids out and in because they are forced to go to schools other than their own community schools?
When will new communities that pay surcharges when purchasing new homes actually get the schools they have funded instead of being shipped out to other schools?
When will the HDSB stop pitting families against families by delivering English programming first?
When will caps and/or controls be put on French Immersion like most other boards so that it can be properly delivered without destroying the fabric of all other education?
When will our trustees start representing the majority of the taxpayers instead of the few who advocated for streamed education?
When will the Ministry of Education finally step in and do something about how education is delivered in Halton?
Let us know what you think.