More Sunshine on Ontario Schools

Interactive Online Tool Illuminates Some Dark Corners

TORONTO, May 5 /CNW/ - The Society for Quality Education is pleased to announce that Sunshine on Schools Ontario, an interactive website, has been updated with the latest 2009 data. Ontario taxpayers, policymakers, and parents can easily and quickly compare the effectiveness of publicly-funded school boards on education funding, spending, and academic achievement from 2003 through 2009. The site can be accessed at www.sunshineonschools.ca.

Visitors to the Sunshine on Schools site will be able to compare, at one time, up to five school boards' data on a wide variety of indicators such as: enrolment, class sizes, school board debt, and academic achievement. Users are able to see and compare the diverse range of each board's per-student spending, amounts raised through fundraising, taxation revenues, transportation costs, salaries, and numbers of employees earning over $100,000, to name a few. Provincial averages are also included.

Except for a few GTA -surrounding boards, enrolments are declining but costs are growing at rates far above inflation. "There are some indicators that are particularly concerning" says "Doretta Wilson, executive director of the SQE. "For example, the total amount of retirement benefits payable by all boards has doubled since 2003 and has risen to over $3 billion."

Sunshine on Schools makes it easy to penetrate the fog that obscures important school board facts. Some examples: there is no correlation between the percentage of small classes and student achievement, the Catholic school boards are getting much better academic results, and the Toronto District School Board has almost 1,000 employees who earn more than $100,000.

The Society for Quality Education is dedicated to the significant improvement of student learning in Canada. We invite journalists to visit Sunshine on Schools Ontario at www.sunshineonschools.ca. Our main website is at www.societyforqualityeducation.org.

SOURCE Society for Quality Education

For further information: For further information: DORETTA WILSON, Executive Director, Toronto Office, Phone: (416) 231-7247 (bus), (416) 526-1653 (cell)

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