2 Hamilton high schools appeal closure decision
Supporters of two Hamilton high schools will hear next week whether the province will further investigate a decision to close their schools.
Appeals have been launched for Parkside Secondary in Dundas and Hill Park Secondary on the Mountain. Those schools were among the eight high schools that Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board trustees voted to close in May.
The appeals were launched in late June. The board responded a month later. The ministry is examining both situations and will decide by late August whether to appoint a facilitator, said ministry spokesperson Gary Wheeler.
"We anticipate providing a response in the near future," he said.
Appeals must be focused on the process the board used in its decision to close a school. The Parkside appeal focuses on the guidelines the board used to review the school, the information profile it used and the rate at which trustees received information, said Bob James, a representative of the Parkside Works group.
For example, Parkside supporters put forward a business case for keeping the school open, which wasn't distributed soon enough for trustees to make "a reasonable decision," he said.
In its response, the board defended its process, and said the proposal was distributed "very early in the West accommodation review process."
Parkside supporters "are just kind of holding our breath at this stage in the game," James said.
The board initiated a wide-reaching accommodation review process nearly two years ago that involved all but three of Hamilton's public high schools.
On May 29, it voted to close Parkside and Highland and move its students to a new high school on the Highland site.
It also voted to close Barton, Hill Park and Mountain schools and build a new high school southeast of Lincoln Alexander Parkway.
Trustees also voted to close Delta, Sir John A. Macdonald and Parkview and build a new school in the lower city.
The board is asking the ministry for more than $87 million for its new construction projects. It expects to hear more in the fall about its request, spokesperson Jackie Penman said.
"We submitted our information by the required deadline and have been working closely with the ministry to clarify questions regarding our business case," she said.
"We look forward to the ministry's funding announcement later this year."
Earlier this summer, supporters of Prince Philip School filed an appeal, but the ministry did not appoint a facilitator.