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The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada • Page 20
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The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada • Page 20

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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CITY WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 15, 1997 B2 THE OTTAWA CITIZEN Boundaries and zones of new school boards Ottawa-Carleton English Public District School Board: Number 25 Zones 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 and 12 are the central urban section the dark area in the map on left. Rapids Ottawa-Carleton Roman Catholic District School Board: Number 53 Zones 5, 7, 8, 9, and 10 are the central urban section the dark area shown in the map on left. HcarYetoV kanataVN JXTr Rapids French Catholic District School Board: Number 66 Includes Renfrew -and Lanark tlan' Renfrew KanataV0 French Public District School Board: Number 59 The maps for the French public and French Catholic boards only show the Ottawa-Carleton portion of the French boards. Changes: Province will collect taxes for the boards Richmnd s900 Vsto'rmont Lanark FrontenacX Leeds Zones 7, 8, 9 and 10 are the central urban section the dark area in the map on left. for local education costs. That responsibility has gone to the province. That shift will also mean that at least one board will get less money. The old Ottawa Board of Education was assessment-rich, supporting many high level programs. There are already disparities between the two boards that will have to be corrected before school starts next September. For example, four-year-olds whose parents live within the OBE territory can go to junior kindergarten. Meanwhile, the program for their counterparts just over the city line was cancelled. The OBE has already predicted that under the new system, it will get $30 to $40 million less each year. It's likely that options, such as three entry points for French immersion, are likely to be reduced. Meanwhile, the nature and scope of changes in education will be massive and the boards will have to take some tough decisions. Continued from page Bi Even with the changes, Angela Di Giacomo feels it's worth trying to become a trustee. She will be spending about $2,000 this fall in the hopes of winning a job. Today Mrs. Di Giacomo will start knocking on doors all over Cumberland township. She is already walking two hours a day to distribute what will eventually be 10,000 brochures. Her goal: a job as a trustee with the new amalgamated Ottawa-Carleton separate school board. have two young children who will be in the education system for a long, long time," explains Mrs. Di Giacomo, who is now the parent council chairwoman at Our Lady of Wisdom Catholic School. 'If elected, Mrs. Di Giacomo will not have the power Mr. Kennelly had. Under the old system, school board decision-making power included whether or not to raise taxes to pay This election, facing a territory that would double in size and population and a reduced salary, she said 'Forget Mrs. MacGregor does not want to listen to more harangues from parents over situations she will be able to control less. "As far as I'm concerned, responsible local government of education is dead," she says. "If you get elected, there will be centralized control and decentralized blame." Mr. Kennelly predicts that the next year will be very busy as the new amalgamated boards get down to business. After that, he sees fewer meetings as more power moves to Queen's Park. "I see trustees in the future as being lobbyists for parents," he says. If you're the parent of a student with a learning disability or special needs, you might have to fight for your child's program. If your child is in high school, he or she will have to grapple with a new secondary school curriculum. OAC will disappear. And it's likely that in the next year, school boards will have to take a serious look at individual schools. If your local school is sparsely attended, expect it to be scrutinized as school boards realize they can't keep all their schools open with less money. As well, there could be labour strife on the horizon. Teachers earn different amounts of money in different boards. As the boards amalgamate, the lower-paid teachers are likely to push to get bumped up to the higher wage level. New collective agreements will have to be ironed out this winter. And no one has yet spelled out what the job of trustee will be in the new order, points out Ann MacGre-gor of Nepean, giving up after 15 years as a trustee. Mrs. MacGregor, who has been chairwoman of the Carleton Board of Education for the past two years, spends her weekends slogging through 100 to 200 pages of committee information. She fields complaints about busing, school discipline and budget cuts. She e-mails school board officials, goes over the agendas of meetings and attends special events at schools. Occasionally, reporters call her at midnight. It's a full-time job, Mrs. MacGregor says.

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