Government's $500M education cuts could mean...
Bookmark and Share
Nov 18, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

Government's $500M education cuts could mean school closures

Ontario opposition parties warn of school closures with Liberal plan to cut education funding $500 million within three years to help balance budget


Schools will close across Ontario because the government is planning to cut $500 million from education over three years in the face of declining enrolment, opposition parties say.

Pointing to an education funding guide calling for the chop in Finance Minister Charles Sousa’s fall economic update, New Democrat MPP Peter Tabuns warned Tuesday that “ballooning” class sizes and teacher layoffs could also result.

Education Minister Liz Sandals countered that school boards will have to deal with the fact that at least 600 schools are “more than half empty” because of a lower birth rate.

That means some school boards may get less in total funding even as per-student grants have risen 56.5 per cent since the Liberals took power in 2003.

“We want to make sure money is being spent on educating the students that are there and not on funding empty seats,” Sandals told reporters. “It’s the responsibility of every board to make sure it is managing efficiently.”

Progressive Conservative MPP Garfield Dunlop said the government needs to help school boards cope with empty schools, such as partnerships that can put other public services into the empty classrooms to keep schools as community hubs, particularly in small towns and rural areas.

“There’s really not leadership shown here at Queen’s Park,” he said, citing a Midland high school in his riding that rented space to the local public health unit.

But he acknowledged “there is a point with declining enrolment you have to look at amalgamations for sure.”

Tabuns said the government is going back on its word.

“On July 9, the premier stood in this House and said, ‘We’re not going to cut education.’ ”

Sandals said per-student grants now total $22.5 billion, an increase of more than $4,000 per child since 2003.

Toronto Star

Bookmark and Share

(0) Comment

Join The Conversation Sign Up Login

Latest Local News


Liberals taking a gamble by reversing election promises: Paul Wells

New Liberal platform includes higher immigration, more foreign investment. It's not what Canadians...



Liberals, opposition still hopeful on electoral reform compromise

Prime Minister Trudeau’s comments caused anxiety among advocates for a new voting system, but...



Insurance veteran to be new head of OLG

An insurance industry titan will chair the board of Ontario’s gambling agency


In Your Neighbourhood Today