LEVY: “Back to basics?” Ontario schools are more woke than ever 

Toronto District School Board education director Colleen Russell-Rawlins — a black activist — seems to have quite a different interpretation of “back to basics” compared to education minister Stephen Lecce.

While Lecce has told school boards to return to focusing on teaching the basics — math, literacy, reading and history from a traditional bent — Russell-Rawlins is back at it yet again this school year pushing the basics of her ideology, one which celebrates “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” and panders to black and Indigenous students.

One has to look no further than the special opportunities provided to black TDSB students this spring, coupled with the massive budget increases for DEI pet projects.

It is not surprising that school boards like the TDSB do what they want, considering Ontario’s disappointingly weak education minister is more talk than action.

Lecce repeatedly makes pronouncements that parents want to hear, then just as quickly, drops the ball instead of engaging in stern oversight of the rogue school boards.

According to information provided by teacher sources, in the past month, the TDSB’s Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement has arranged special opportunities for black students only.

These include a “Meet the Scientist program” for Grade 7-12 students in partnership with the Sunnybrook Research Institute.

“The goal of the program is to provide Black students with a unique opportunity to learn more about the different pathways in the field of medical technology and research,” says the flyer promoting the initiative, which took place over a series of Thursdays last month.

Grades 7-12 black students who are “animal lovers” were invited to explore veterinary career options in collaboration with the Black Veterinary Association of Canada.

That series of sessions for black students-only ends this week.

This is what we call reverse racism.

Or as the teacher sources say, all other students, visible minorities included, are considered white or “white adjacent.” 

“Unless you are black or Indigenous you literally get thrown under the school bus,” my sources say.

This is the reality of the culture under Russell-Rawlins and her anti-back racism-obsessed administrators.

It’s not even close to “back to basics.”

That said, it’s hard for me to believe that Lecce would simply hand over $745-million to school boards for apparent supports for “back to basics” learning, considering the figures provided to me by inside sources on the amount TDSB has devoted – with steady increases – to various DEI pet projects.

The budget numbers are extremely difficult to obtain from the TDSB, likely deliberately so. There are great gaps in the reporting over the past two years.

However, according to the figures provided, the budget allocated to human rights, equity, black and Indigenous initiatives tripled between 2018-2019 and 2021-2022 from $3-million to $9.4-million.

The Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement appears to have been added in 2021-2022 at a cost of $ 2.3 million.That’s the year Russell-Rawlins returned to the board from the Peel District Board.

But this year’s budget really tells the tale.

Despite projecting a deficit of $34.8-million at the outset of the year and much hand-wringing about how to balance it, the budget for Indigenous education has jumped to a whopping $9.3-million from $3-million three years ago.

The Centre for Excellence of Black Students is still absorbing $2 million this year. 

The equity program is budgeted at $1.4-million compared to $776,661 three years ago. That figure, however, is conservative considering that equity now appears to be spread across several departments.

Human rights are now at $1.9-million compared to $1-million three years ago.

As I said, we only have Lecce, his boss Premier Doug Ford and the education ministry to blame for this train wreck in education.

I have no confidence in this allegedly Conservative provincial government to make things right.

Meanwhile, educrats like Russell-Rawlins and her sycophants continue foisting their dangerous ideology on innocent students who just want to learn.

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