A second UCDSB audit can help save money in the classroom, says Clark

Premier Doug Ford with Minister Steve Clark

MPP Steve Clark is firing back at the public school board, saying it's not a "strange request" that the board accept his offer of an independent auditor to make another review of their books.

The chair of the Upper Canada District School Board John McAllister wrote an open letter to Minister Clark on Monday. It stated that that the school already has auditors they trust and it was a waste of taxpayer money to review it again.

"We know exactly where our financial pressure points are," said McAllister, pointing to transportation and special education.

On Wednesday, Clark spoke to the Bruce Wylie Show with Kimberley Johnson. He says its public knowledge that the board has been facing issues for years.

"If we can protect the resources that are in the classroom for our kids, that's what everybody wants. That's what I want," he says. "I don't think it's strange, I think that's actually something that's positive."

In the letter, McAllister says that the board did what they could with the $364-million they were given for the year. He insists they were instructed to provide a balanced budget, which they did.

They also stated he always knew that cuts would be coming, because they had met on several occasions to discuss the difficulties the board was facing.

Clark, who's also the minister for Muncipal Affairs, confirms he met with board officials, and points to the $5-million they were given to help with transportation as proof he was listening.

He says other school boards have taken up the offer on an external auditor.

"The number one thing the board should look at is: can we look at our operation, can we look at our non-classroom resources, look at them line-by-line to see if we can find some savings.

So ultimately the money can stay in the classroom."