Crude cutbacks consultation … an extremely alarming Bay Street framework
Ford’s Minister of Education dispatched the following “Education Consultation” to school boards mid-November providing a mere four-week response window. The framework of the questionaire is seen as seriously alarming. Consider this section of the document:
“Education partners are being provided with an opportunity to submit feedback about education funding, through electronic submissions, on the following 4 topics:
• Efficient Price Setting;
• Outcomes-Based Funding;
• Accountability and Value-for-Money; and
• Other Education Funding Efficiencies. “
There is a direct relationship between the Education Consultation, the Ernst and Young Report and the promised “Parent Bill of Rights“. Here’s how:
1. The Education Consultation includes a question about what should be included in a “Parents’ Bill of Rights” – which Ford has promised to introduce.
2. Page 23 of the Ernst and Young Report called Managing Transformation refers to considering “the use of alternate approaches to funding, including direct funding to individuals and payment for outcomes: providing funding to individuals, who can then choose their service providers through a form of market activity and discipline”.
3. The government may come out with a “Parents’ Bill of Rights” that says parents want choice, and that therefore either a tax credit (as put forward by the Harris Tories in the late 90s) or a full US-style voucher/charter school system may be put into place.
4. The message parents and community advocates are sending the government is that at the basis of any “Parents Bill of Rights” must be the right to for their child to attend a publicly funded school in their neighbourhood; a publicly funded neighbourhood school that is appropriately resourced to meet the educational needs of each child in that neighbourhood.