Time to Reconsider Amalgamation?

By Ben Bull
Published December 21, 2007

A cautious endorsement today, by the Toronto Star's Editorial Board, of the proposed de-coupling of the unweildly and ineffective Toronto District School Board, makes me wonder if our amalgamation experiment is finally wearing thin.

"Ten years after then Conservative premier Mike Harris forcibly merged seven school boards to create the Toronto District School Board, concerns are growing that amalgamation isn't quite working," notes the Star.

On discussing the four options being presented to the Board, the Star suggests:

(The) third alternative would create smaller local boards, with the current mega-board acting as an umbrella body in charge of divvying up provincial grants, making decisions on capital plans and managing assets. This proposal would be similar to the model that existed in Toronto prior to school board amalgamation.

Kudos to the School Board for admitting it has a problem, and considering all the options - including a return to pre-amalgamation - available. Perhaps it's time for Hamilton City Council to do the same.

Ben Bull lives in downtown Toronto. He's been working on a book of short stories for about 10 years now and hopes to be finished tomorrow. He also has a movie blog.


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