Parents demand school repairs at Queen's Park
Fix Our Schools advocacy group wants more investment in schools ahead of provincial budget
With one in every four Toronto schools in critical need of repairs, an advocacy group called for more provincial funding at Queen's Park on Monday.
Representatives from Fix Our Schools called on the province to be accountable when it comes to crumbling school infrastructure, some of which is so bad it has left students attending classes in their winter coats.
"My son, last year when he was in Grade 3, wore a winter coat in school for over a week," Krista Wylie, the group's co-founder, told CBC News.
"His classroom was 12 degrees."
Fix Our Schools staged its event just days before the province is set to release its latest budget.
Aging schools are a province-wide issue and more than 100,000 students are currently studying in portable classrooms, Ontario's Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk found in a recent report. She called on the Liberal government to make a "significant investment" in fixing schools and suggested it could cost some $14 billion.
Education Minister Liz Sandals, speaking at Queen's Park, said the government is investing $1.25 billion over three years to improve the conditions of schools.
But Lysyk's report, released last December, found the education ministry rejects some two-thirds of the school capital funding requests it receives each year.
Cheryl Fearns, whose child attends Earl Beatty Junior and Senior Public School in Toronto, said the conditions in that school are "fair to poor," and said there have been issues with falling concrete and bathrooms that don't work.
She's hoping fixes get made before the situation gets worse.
"I'd like to see more attention paid before things go bad."