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School Closure Decision-Making Processes: Problems and Prospects
Canadian Journal of Urban Research
  • Bill Irwin, Huron At Western
  • Mark Seasons, University of Waterloo
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This paper explores the issue of the permanent closures of public schools in Ontario. School closure processes are highly (and bitterly) contested, rife with conflict, and with few exceptions, harshly criticized by school and community stakeholders who see closures as a loss of irreplaceable social infrastructure. There is a need for a more nuanced planning style that acknowledges the realities of politics, unequal power relations and the validity of community residents' needs and values.To better understand the consequences of school closures upon communities, the authors evaluate the historical and current school closure decision-making process in Ontario. This entails a four part approach: understanding the role that schools play and the impacts of closure, especially on inner-city communities; examining the reasons for closures; exploring the closure process itself, comparing and contrasting process intent with application experiences; and, identifying alternatives to existing school-closures decision-making processes and framework.

Citation Information
2012. Irwin, Bill and Mark Seasons. “School Closure Decision-Making Processes: Problems and Prospects”, Canadian Journal of Urban Research, Winter 2012 21:2, 45-67