Toronto trustees have until the end of May to figure out a way to run the public board better — possibly by breaking it into smaller boards — or Education Minister Kathleen Wynne will do it for them.
“The minister will consider changes to the TDSB’s governance by the end of May, whether or not the board brings recommendations,” says a document prepared by the board to be discussed at a committee meeting today at Toronto District School Board headquarters.
“Her strong preference is to work with the board in considering changes.”
In an interview yesterday, Wynne said May is more a “timeline” than an ultimatum, and the board needs to decide by then in which direction it’s moving, but does not need a detailed plan.
“I had said to them in January that we needed to move on this,” Wynne said, referring to a meeting with trustees two months ago. “I don’t want this to go on for a long time.”
She said the attempt is “by this spring to have some idea of what we are working on this summer. What (the deadline) says is, I really want them to come together and try to form some kind of consensus.
“If not, then we’ll have to consider without them what we want to do.”
The ministry says the board should consider either decentralizing power, where “significant decision-making authority is delegated to local councils or committees,” or “some form of de-amalgamation, where TDSB is dissolved into two or more separate district school boards,” says the document, based on a March 19 meeting with Ken Thurston, a senior adviser to Wynne.
Board chair John Campbell said while decentralization or de-amalgamation are the two most likely scenarios, the ministry did not do a thorough analysis of the implications, especially financial.