For immediate release
June 2, 2014
(Guelph): Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party of Ontario and candidate in Guelph, announced the Party’s plan to increase the quality of education without increasing spending.
“We are wasting up to $1.6 billion a year keeping four school boards open in every jurisdiction in Ontario,” said Schreiner. “We need that money back in the classroom.”
Schreiner is especially concerned about kids with special needs. School staff and parents told People for Education that children with special needs are routinely asked to stay home because our schools lack necessary resources.
“We can’t let the families of children with special needs down in this way,” said Schreiner. “How can we justify the failure to provide basic services for children with special needs while we are also spending public dollars to maintain religious divisions in our school system?”
Merging the school boards would save money in administrative and equipment costs, utility bills, and busing programs.
“The people of Ontario expect high quality education in well-equipped and fully staffed schools in their neighbourhoods,” said Schreiner. “The government has an obligation to deliver. How can the Minister of Education support extra money for busing over Educational Assistants in the classroom?”
Each of the other major parties has explicitly rejected reforming our school system despite the clear financial, social, and community benefits that would result. The Liberal Education Minister, Liz Sandals, confirmed last week that the Liberals have no plan to address the inequity and inefficiency in the present system, and Premier Wynne said the status quo would persist, shutting down Liberal candidate Andrew Olivier (Sudbury), who had called for a merger.
“I am passionate about merging the school boards, as a parent and as Finance Critic for the Green Party of Ontario,” said Kevin O’Donnell, candidate in Ottawa Centre. “I want my daughter to have the best public education we can afford — and better than we offer now. I am outraged to see money being wasted on empty seats.”
The Green Party is committed to bringing honesty, integrity, and good public policy to the province’s school system.
Media contact: Candice Lepage