political favour?

Schools get $182M boost
The Toronto Sun   15 Aug 2007  BY ANTONELLA ARTUSO, QUEEN'S PARK BUREAU CHIEF
A surprise $182-million boost to education spending for the coming school year announced by Premier Dalton McGuinty will pay for more vice-principals, teachers and other pressing school needs.

McGuinty said his government is prepared to spend a total of $309 million
more over the next two school years on education priorities if re-elected
this fall.

"No one can doubt our commitment — our putting our money where our mouth
is — when it comes to supporting public education in Ontario," McGuinty
said yesterday. The Conservatives questioned where McGuinty found the new
money, which is outside the $781-million education funding increase
announced in the March budget.

'POLITICAL FAVOUR'
"Just weeks after losing

one cabinet minister for questionable spending
practices with the citizenship and immigration slush fund, Dalton McGuinty
is once again making one-off funding announcements for the purposes of
currying political favour," the Tories say in a press release.

McGuinty said the province's books are in good shape and he's prepared to
"make a stretch" for kids.

"And the fact of the matter is we have heard (from) school boards time and
time again about underlying pressures," McGuinty said. "And we think we have
a responsibility to help address those pressures."

CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan, an NDP candidate in the provincial
election, said the McGuinty government is attempting to head off the layoff
of hundreds of school support staff in the month before voters go to the
polls.