McGuinty Government Invests In Francophone Student Success



    Francophone Achievement Shows Students Getting The Support They Need

    OTTAWA, March 30 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is boosting its
investment in Ontario's French-language schools to support continued
improvement for the province's French-language students, Minister Responsible
for Francophone Affairs Madeleine Meilleur announced today.
    "We're proud of our track record to make Ontario's French-language
schools great places to learn," said Meilleur. "Our government has recognized
the unique challenges these boards face in helping our francophone students
succeed."
    This year, the province will invest an additional $73 million in
Ontario's French-language schools. Since this government came to office, per
pupil funding for French-language school boards has grown by 42 per cent - or
$317 million - reaching $1.089 billion for the 2007-08 school year.
    This year's funding boost for French-language school boards will help
ensure the quality of French-language education and combat the assimilation of
French-speaking students. The investment includes $10 million for additional
targeted supports to provide a wider range of programs and courses,
particularly in French-language secondary schools.
    "Our government's investment in education is paying off for our
students," said Education Minister Kathleen Wynne. "During the last four
years, we've seen a significant improvement in student outcomes, and we want
to go even further still."
    Francophone student enrolment is on the rise for a second consecutive
school year, despite declining enrolment provincially, assimilation and a low
proportion of francophone immigration.

    
    Success by French-language students includes:
    -   An increase in provincial test scores of between five and 15
        percentage points
    -   A rise of five per cent in graduation rates to 81 per cent - just
        four points short of the 2010 provincial target - over the past two
        years
    -   Grade 6 French-language students reaching the 75 per cent target in
        math two years early
    -   Grade 6 French-language girls reaching the target in all subject
        areas.

    "We will continue working with our education partners to help our
francophone students reach their potential," added Meilleur.

    Disponible en français

                              www.edu.gov.on.ca
                           www.ontario.ca/progress


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

             ONTARIO'S INVESTMENTS IN FRENCH-LANGUAGE EDUCATION

    This year, the province will invest an additional $73 million in Ontario's
French-language school boards.
    This year's funding boost will help ensure the quality of French-language
education and combat the assimilation of French-speaking students. The
investment includes $10 million for additional targeted supports to provide a
wider range of programs and courses, particularly in French-language secondary
schools.

    The investments are part of the McGuinty government's overall strategy to
provide francophone students with the support they need to succeed:

    -   Launching the Politique d'aménagement linguistique which aims to
        improve retention in French-language schools, enhancing students'
        oral communication skills and building capacity among school staff
        working in a linguistic minority setting.
    -   Creating the Elementary and Secondary French-language Education Task
        Force, chaired by Education Minister Kathleen Wynne, to help ensure
        that francophones play a greater role in the overall development of a
        high quality education system in Ontario. In fact, some of this
        year's targeted investments in the Grants for Student Needs stem from
        advice from the task force.
    -   Providing $70 million in cumulative enhancements in the Language
        Grant for French-language boards, a significant portion of which has
        been allocated to increase unique course offerings in French-language
        secondary schools. This initiative is helping to promote French
        language and culture, improve student achievement and self-esteem and
        help keep students in French-language schools.
    -   Introducing an innovative multi-year $220 million capital investment
        strategy that will help improve access for children of rights holders
        to French-language education, the the single biggest investment in
        the history of the French-language community in Ontario.
    -   Delivering on our commitment to create an independent TfO network
        that will meet the specific cultural and educational needs of the
        Francophone community. In addition to a $15.4 million start up
        investment, the newly independent TfO will have an annual operating
        budget of $21 million, $15 million of which will be provided by the
        province.

    Disponible en français

                              www.edu.gov.on.ca
                           www.ontario.ca/progress
    




For further information:

For further information: Michelle Despault, Minister's Office, Ministry
of Education, (416) 212-3747; Patricia MacNeil, Communications Branch,
Ministry of Education, (416) 325-2676; Marc Despatie, Senior Strategic
Communications Advisor, Office of the Minister Responsible for Francophone
Affairs, (416) 433-8584; Charles Jean Sucsan, Senior Manager, Strategic
Communications, Office of Francophone Affairs, (416) 325-4968; Ministry of
Education Public Inquiries: (416) 325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514, TTY:
1-800-263-2892

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Ontario Ministry of Education

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