Conservatives Going Backwards: New Scheme Leaves 95% of Kids Behind

    TORONTO, June 8 /CNW/ - The Conservatives have unveiled their latest
scheme to take money out of public education to support private schools.
    The new Conservative scheme would fund 53,000 students enrolled in
private schools. At $9,432 per student, funding those 53,000 students with
public dollars comes with a $500 million price tag, at the very least.
    Taking $500 million out of public education will have a massive impact on
students in the classroom. It would mean cuts to any of the following areas:

    -   Bigger classes - Firing 6300 teachers
    -   Less student support - Firing 3800 specialist teachers
    -   Less school support - Firing 8500 support staff
    -   $7 million slashed from each school board
    -   $102,000 funding cut to every school in Ontario

    Ontarians remember what happened the last time the Conservatives decided
to gut public education. They created a crisis that lost students 26 million
learning days. During those years 503 public schools closed, 266 private
school opened and enrolment in private schools skyrocketed up 40%.
    Don't just take it from us, two prominent Conservatives agree:
    "When education is threatened, so is our future is one of
the only remaining instruments we have for building the civility and finding
the common cause to make diversity work...We would be surrendering to the
forces of fragmentation if we let that go." -Hugh Segal, Toronto Star,
Oct. 20, 2006
    "I take exception to those who would view public education being, shall
we say, fragmented by vouchers or private schools, I take exception to some
people saying that the public education system in this province is not a
quality one, because it is." -former Conservative Premier Bill Davis, Pembroke
Daily Observer, July 3, 2003
    Ontarians don't want to turn back the clock.

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