Education is more than sitting in a classroom.


Success in music. Success in life. It's no coincidence! (Coalition For Music Education In Canada)

This was an educational 'hint' sent to us by the principal of a Bruce County school, where music and art are considered every bit as important as subjects such as languages, mathematics and sciences.

In many other countries, students receive a well-rounded liberal education that includes classical arts, music and literature. While a great emphasis is placed on science and mathematics, it is also understood that to have a full, complete education, the arts play an integral role in the overall development of the human mind.

Unfortunately, in Bruce County, the well-rounded education of students has become secondary to the bottom line. It has become about money.

According to a recent release by the Board, the previous budget showed a surplus of some $800,000 which is difficult to comprehend when the audited financial report issued at financial year end August 31, 2008 showed Total

Financial Assets $14,748,480
Total Financial Liabilities $132,694,288
Net Financial Liabilities $117,945,808
with an outstanding long-term debt of approximately $68 million and a demand note held by CIBC for more than $8 million.  The debt at term soars to $105,000,000 with interest.

Now, the Board is saying it is $4 million in the red (deficit for year) and claims a large part is due to lower enrollment numbers and that, in all likelihood, more programs will have to be cut.

(next column)

09/05/2009 08:45 PM

Hmmmm .... on January 1, 1993 the Bruce County Board of Education and the Grey County Board of Education amalgamated to form the new Bluewater District School Board. The new Board oversees 48 elementary schools, 11 secondary and the outdoor education facility (OEC).

Since amalgamation, programs have been and continue to be drastically cut. From the demise of rotary education in grades 7 and 8 and the resulting loss of highly specialized teachers, students are the ones who are paying the price. Gone or reduced are music programs, science fairs, sports and phys-ed, art - all those things that make for a well-rounded human being.

Once again, the public is faced with a situation where economics are overtaking values. Only this time the values are children. One has to question where the money, that should be going directly toward education, is really going.

Mayor Hazel McCallion of Mississauga, who has been in office for decades, has said, "Amalgamation is the worst thing ever to have happened to municipalities."

It may not only be the worst thing for municipalities, it also appears it may be the worst thing for education.

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