Today’s revelation that the Toronto District School Board has funneled tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars into a charity founded by its own board chair is only the latest in a long series of politically damaging news stories to emerge out of the organization over the past two years. Allegations of sexual harassment, plagiarism, homophobia, bullying and inappropriate spending have dogged the school board’s 22 trustees, a collection of relatively inexperienced elected officials who seem incapable of reining in their behaviour despite repeated attempts at intervention from outside agencies.
And yet, despite all the issues in its boardroom, the school district continues to do what is, by most accounts, a decent job. Kids are still learning, and the city’s public schools continue to function, leading some to suggest that trustees are to some extent merely interfering with the work of competent school staff. How did we get to this point? Here’s a rundown of the board’s recent history of scandal.