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I know it is the middle of August but our public education is still front and center in the news. The non-Catholic federations are in a dispute with the Ontario government but I intend to follow that subject matter at a later time.

The Lesser Report concerns this week are with the London District Catholic Board School Board whose telephone message reminds us that" The spirit is alive." At the time of writing 146 teachers have been declared surplus, some having worked for the board for ten years. Some of them just happened to be the most dedicated coaching their students: they have been cut adrift hoping that they will find a place with the Board.

I find it interesting that the Board with declining enrolment has found it necessary to build a brand new high school. St Andre Bessette, in the north end of London. The school is slated to be open September 2013 with 400 grade nine and ten students. Grade 11 and 12 students with a total of 1,200 students are to be on site by 2015 They have the funds for some brick and mortar but seems to have forgotten that it is the caring nature of the teachers that bring forth good students.

It doesnít seem to matter that with reduced student numbers that the Board of Education office numbers at the Regina Mundi Campus keeps expanding. A little bird has informed me that many of the newly appointed administrators come from the ranks of recently retired principals. They retired at the end of June with a full pensions and voila they find a place at the Board office with an additional salary of $180,000 per year. When you do the math the salaries could help hire three new teachers earning $60,000 per year that can make a difference to the students.

The "suits"are tripping over themselves being involved with "important matters", okay I am being sarcastic, related to curriculum and planning and do not have direct contact with the students. I donít know about you but it doesnít seem fair that teaching staff are made surplus but there is always room for oneís friends to be appointed at the Board of Education head office level.

It doesnít seem to matter what you know but rather who you know that counts.

The Catholic teachers federation has the duty to represent their members and have a voice to implement a policy where classroom teaching is paramount with administration numbers in line with student enrollment.

I am interested in your views. Drop me an e-mail.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com