Reaching Higher In The Middle Grades



    Ontario Liberals Will Build On Progress In The Early Grades With More
    Individual Attention For Children In Grades 4 to 8

    MARKHAM, ON, Oct. 5 /CNW/ - The Ontario Liberals will build on progress
in the early grades by delivering more individual attention for children
grades 4 to 8 over the next four years, Premier Dalton McGuinty said today.
    "We'll keep working to complete our plan to lower class sizes in JK to
Grade 3, to ensure all children have the best foundation for learning,"
McGuinty said after visiting with Grade 4 students at Lincoln Alexander Public
School.
    "But we want to put a new emphasis on children in grades 4 to 8, the
middle years where children's individual challenges and talents are really
emerging, and they begin to make the transition to high school."
    The Ontario Liberals will create a new $150 million Every Student Fund
for students in grades 4-8.
    This fund will enable school boards to strategically reduce class sizes
in the middle grades, help struggling grade 7 and 8 students make the
transition to high school, and deliver more learning tailored to individual
needs, in things such as skills technology and the arts.
    "Just as we want publicly funded education to keep moving forward, we
want our elementary students equipped to graduate down the road and go on to
university, college, or an apprenticeship program," McGuinty said.
    "In the knowledge-based economy of the 21st century, the best jobs and
the most investment will go to the places with the best educated and most
highly skilled people. And that prosperity will help us sustain the medicare
and the other foundations of our strong and caring society. So we have a lot
riding on publicly funded education."
    Other elements of the Ontario Liberal plan for publicly funded education
over the next four years include:

    
      -  Expanded Family Literacy Centres, so families from all backgrounds
         can help their children arrive at school ready to learn

      -  Increased funding for ESL and special needs students

      -  Introduction of Schools Helping Schools, a program to twin low-
         performing schools with high-performing schools to improve student
         achievement

      -  Expanded after-school and online homework help for elementary and
         secondary students
    

    "We're asking Ontarians to consider the choice they face on Wednesday:
Ontario can be pulled into a long, divisive debate that will take our schools
backwards, or we can keep our publicly funded schools moving forward,"
McGuinty said.
    "We're urging Ontarians to consider that choice, and get out to vote
Wednesday. It's too important not to."

    
    Disponible en français

                            www.ontarioliberal.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Ontario Liberal Party Media Relations, (416)
961-3800 Ext. 386

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