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February 22, 2003

Queen's Park retracts cuts to deaf classes

From: London Free Press, Canada - 22 Feb 2003

By HANK DANISZEWSKI, Free Press Reporter

Ontario's Education Ministry has backed down on cutbacks to high school courses at schools for the deaf in London and Belleville.

Ministry officials issued a statement yesterday saying students bound for college or university could continue to take academic credits this September at Robarts school in London and Sir James Whitney school in Belleville.

In a recent memo to school staff, the ministry said declining enrolments were forcing them to cut the programs, making the E. C. Drury school in Milton the only institution offering the courses.

Parent representatives from the Robarts school said the elimination of academic credit could spell the end of the small high school program which only has 17 students and spur declining enrolment in the elementary school.

Parents in both London and Belleville complained they had not been consulted in the decision to cut the courses.

A spokesperson for Education Minister Elizabeth Witmer's office said the government is committed to maintaining the schools for the deaf and recently spent $1 million in renovations at Robarts.

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