Report into troubled TDSB by provincial investigator to be released today

TORONTO - Education Minister Liz Sandals will release a report today into the troubled Toronto District School Board, where she said a "culture of fear" existed among staff.

Police were called to one meeting of Canada's largest school board last year amid accusations a trustee held the director of education hostage in her office in just one example of headline-grabbing infighting at the TDSB.

The chair of the board asked the government to intervene after a tense standoff between education director Donna Quan and several trustees over her refusal to release her employment contract.

Staff at the Toronto school board complained of intimidation by some trustees.

The TDSB was the subject of two external audits which uncovered problems with capital and structural deficits and with trustee expenses, but it was the public disputes between staff and trustees that drew the government's attention.

Sandals appointed Margaret Wilson, the former registrar of the Ontario College of Teachers, to conduct the external review, which included an examination of operational issues and the TDSB's governance structure.

"The school board has been plagued by issues that go beyond purely financial concerns, with almost daily examples of confrontation, obfuscation and a lack of communication," Sandals said as she appointed Wilson in November.

The TDSB has 246,000 students in nearly 600 schools.

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