Ontario Liberals: Standing Up For Publicly Funded Rural Schools

    Schools That Would Have Closed Under Conservatives Staying Open, Continue
    Getting Stronger

    NEWBURGH, ON, Sept. 18 /CNW/ - Publicly funded rural schools that would
have closed under the previous Conservative government are staying open - and
getting stronger - thanks to Ontario Liberals, said Premier Dalton McGuinty.
    "For rural kids, few things are more important than being able to go to
school in your own community, with your own friends," said the Premier at
Newburgh Public school. "Rural schools help keep communities strong, which is
why we're not only committed to keeping them open - but strengthening them."
    Under the cuts and chaos of the previous Conservative government, small
schools similar to Newburgh Public School were forced to close, including over
100 of our most vulnerable rural and northern schools. Under the Ontario
Liberals, more rural schools have stayed open and funding has risen by $2,439
for every student.

    Ontario Liberals will continue to strengthen rural schools. We will:

    -   Increase funding by $3.1 billion - including an additional
        $550 million for rural schools - which means that rural schools won't
        have to close in order to cut costs.
    -   Continue to improve the funding formula so it reflects the changing
        costs of education in rural Ontario.
    -   Expand our Community Use of Schools program so our schools become a
        hub of community activity.
    -   Expand our homework help programs face-to-face and online and expand
        e-learning, with an investment in broadband

    The progress made in rural schools could be at risk, however, under the
Conservative's plan to divert half a billion dollars out of publicly funded
education and giving that money to private religious schools. Schools like
Newburgh Public School could be put on the chopping block - jeopardizing the
education of a whole new generation of rural kids.
    "Now that we've kept rural schools open, we're going to continue moving
forward for our rural communities," said McGuinty. "We can't afford to go
backwards, now, just as our schools have finally turned the corner."

    Disponible en français

For further information:

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

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