doesn’t go far enough

New funding for public and separate schools
Chatham Daily News (ON)   15 Aug 2007    BOB BOUGHNER

The Lambton Kent and St. Clair Catholic District School Boards will receive close to $3 million in new funding from the provincial government. It's part of close to $10 million in additional money announced Monday for school boards in Chatham-Kent and Essex County.

"It's very

positive news," said Ron Andruchow, superintendent of business
for the Lambton Kent District School Board.

The LKDSB will receive $2,058,174 while the St. Clair Catholic District
School Board will receive $910,064.

Paul Wubben, director of education for the St. Clair board, described the
announcement as "good news."

Both Andruchow and Wubben said they expect to learn details of the new
funding during a teleconference today with officials of the provincial
ministry of education.

"Since taking office we've been working together to make public education
the best education, including fixing a flawed funding formula," said
Chatham- Kent Essex MPP Pat Hoy.

Lambton-Kent Middlesex MPP Maria Van Bommel said the commitment of nearly
$10 million extra in funding is the fix school boards in Chatham-Kent, Essex
and Lambton-Kent Middlesex have been waiting for to put them on firm
financial ground.

Andruchow said the funding announcement is timely, considering the board is
about to begin its new school year.

"It's my understanding much of the new money is geared towards student
success programs," he said. "The aim is to help students obtain a diploma
and graduate."

Andruchow said the new money will enhance the supports the board needs for
students.

"We'll learn the details of the announcement today," said Wubben. "The
ministry will tell us how much and what it is earmarked for during a web
cast."

Wubben said it appears the new funding is in response to concerns expressed
by the school board.

"It's nice to know you are being listened to," he said.

Sid Ryan, Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, said
the education funding announcement is more about the Oct. 10 provincial
election than meeting the needs of the education system.

"We raised the alarm last month that 60 per cent of school boards were
issuing layoffs due to insufficient provincial funding," said Ryan in a
press release. "With this announcement, the government has now agreed with
us that the funding formula is flawed, and we can take credit for that."

But he said $309 million across the province over two years doesn't go
nearly far enough.

"The Liberals came to office in 2003 promising to fix the mess created by
the Conservatives," he said. "Where has the Liberal government been all
these years? Why do Ontario families have to wait four years before the
Liberals act?"

For 2008-09, an additional $127 million will be provided to further
strengthen the funding formula by better matching funding with current
costs.

The investment will focus on additional areas that boards have identified,
such as English-as-a-second-language, schools in areas of local growth,
adult education, school board operations and local education priorities.

Hoy said that since taking office, the Liberal government has increased
education funding by $3.7 billion – an increase of $2,156 per student or 29
per cent.

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