Premier urged to enact early learning report

TORONTO, Sept. 22 /CNW/ - Premier Dalton McGuinty should act now to implement a blueprint for major educational reform that will make Ontario the best place there is to raise a child, say the province's leading early learning experts and champions of publicly funded education.

More than 100 individuals and organizations released a declaration at a Queen's Park news conference today, urging the Ontario government to implement the full set of educational reforms recommended by the Premier's early learning advisor's blueprint for change.

"This blueprint shows the government how to transform Ontario's schools into vibrant, family-centred learning hubs for children and their parents," says Annie Kidder, People for Education.

"This is good not only for Ontario's families today but also for the long-term prosperity of our province. With the economy in the dumps, this is a lifeline that will pay off for generations."

David Crombie, former Toronto Mayor and chair of Toronto Lands Trust, called on the government to make this the last study to sit on a shelf.

"Acting on this blueprint will establish Ontario as a world-class education leader. Families and children are ready. Municipalities and school boards are ready. Educators and champions of publicly funded education are ready," Crombie says. "This is our opportunity to get it right, for children and families today and for the benefit of all into the future."

York University research scientist, Dr. Stuart Shanker, called on the Ontario government to avoid cherrypicking and implement all of the recommendations in its early learning advisor's report - starting in September 2010 with 2012 as the rollout end date.

"This is a doable timeframe," said Dr. Shanker. "35 per cent of our schools already have the capacity to handle the first phase of change and are ready to go."

SOURCE Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

For further information: For further information: Trish Hennessy, communications coordinator, cell (416) 525-4927

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