NDP will fix funding formula, end fundraising for essentials

    Hampton will invest in public education to make it better, more

    TORONTO, Aug. 28 /CNW/ - NDP Leader Howard Hampton today announced he
will put students first by investing in public education to make it better and
more affordable for today's working families.
    "Public education is one of the most important investments we can make.
Unfortunately, Dalton McGuinty broke his promise to fix the education funding
formula. That's depriving students of programs they need and it's forcing
families to pay for school essentials out of their own pockets," Hampton said.
    Hampton made the comments during a news conference with NDP Davenport
candidate Peter Ferreira. Dalton McGuinty undemocratically removed Ferreira as
chair of the Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board after Ferreira and fellow
school board trustees refused government orders to cut classroom programs.
Those included the Reading Recovery program for kids who need help learning to
    Hampton told the press conference the NDP would fix the flawed education
funding formula and keep it up to date. The first review would be completed by
March Break, 2008, and be reviewed by an all-party legislative committee every
year. That will mean giving local school boards the fairness and flexibility
they need to address local concerns and priorities like English-as-a-Second
Language instruction, special education waiting lists, repairs for rundown and
unsafe schools, community schools at risk of closing and specialty teacher
    "The status quo isn't good enough. In the face of a global economy, where
too many kids start behind and stay behind, we need to fix the years of
neglect of our students and our classrooms. That starts with fixing the
funding formula and making sure students go to excellent, properly-staffed
schools that provide the programs students need," Hampton said.
    Hampton said his plan would put an end to the unfair pressure on parents
to fundraise for school essentials. Parents raised $500 million last year to
plug the gaps created by the flawed funding formula. The NDP will restore the
Local Priorities Grant, at a rate of $200 a student, to give schools the
funding they need for school essentials.
    "There is a time and a place for school fundraising for extras. But Moms
and Dads shouldn't be forced to fundraise for school essentials. That's not
fair. Necessary school programs should not depend on the size of a parent's
wallet and their children's ability to sell chocolate bars. The province
should pay for the essentials, not parents," Hampton said.
    Hampton invited parents and students to compare his plan with McGuinty's
record of letdowns, disappointments and broken promises.
    "My proposal is a real concrete plan that recognizes the need to fix the
funding formula, to invest in education, to invest in students and to invest
in the supports and programs the McGuinty government is denying them," Hampton
    "Mr. McGuinty forgot working families the day he was elected. He found
time to give himself a $40,000 pay raise and $1 million to a cricket club that
asked for $150,000 but broke his promises to parents and students," the NDP
Leader said.
    Hampton said a vote for the NDP in the upcoming election is a vote for
better and more affordable public education for today's working families.
    "On October 10th, I'm asking people here in Toronto and across Ontario to
vote for better public education by voting NDP," Hampton said.

For further information:

For further information: Media Inquiries: Jon Weier, (416) 591-5455

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