School use funding increased

The provincial government has announced that it will be investing $33 million in the Community Use of Schools program for the 2008-09 school year.  This funding will grow to $66 million over the next three years, including:

    * $43 million to decrease rental rates and increase access after hours
    * $17 million in annual funding to make after-hours access free in priority schools (where there is a strong need for access to community space)
    * $6.4 million to fund Outreach Coordinators across the province.

More info in annuncement below from Ministry of Education website.  

Ontario Government Providing More Funding To Open Schools Evenings And Weekends To Youth And Community Groups

February 5, 2008

The Ontario government is investing $33 million in the Community Use of Schools program for 2008-09, a significant increase over the previous year's investment, making it more affordable for youth, seniors and adults to use local schools for their meetings, practices and other activities.

The program and its funding will continue to grow over the next few years, reaching $66 million by 2011-12. This includes:

    * $43 million — more than double the current annual funding — to further decrease rates and increase access after hours
    * $17 million in annual funding to make after-hours access free-of-charge in priority schools. These are schools in targeted communities where there is a strong need for access to community space
    * $6.4 million to fund Outreach Coordinators across the province. Outreach coordinators will assist with:
          o Helping school boards and the ministry to strengthen CUS programs by monitoring and providing feedback
          o Making sure that boards and schools are working together to maximize the effectiveness of the program
          o Conducting outreach activities to encourage more groups to take advantage of the Community Use of Schools program
          o Expanding activities for students outside of the school day.

How does Community Use of Schools help?
Ontario's schools are community hubs where all people can stay active, gather to learn, and participate in the activities of community-based organizations. The Community Use of Schools program helps students, parents and members of the community to be more active in a safe and healthy environment.

The government provides funding to school boards so they can make school space more affordable for use after hours. Both indoor and outdoor school space is available to not-for-profit community groups at reduced rates.