OPSBA Welcomes Increased Funding for Public Education

    TORONTO, Aug. 14 /CNW/ - The Ontario Public School Boards' Association
welcomes the provincial government's announcement of increased funding for
public education. This further investment of $182 million in Ontario's
education system in the upcoming year with an additional $127 million promised
for 2008-09 demonstrates a consistent and genuine commitment to the learning
environment and achievement of the province's students.
    "OPSBA is pleased the government has made an investment in funding public
education that is significant, necessary and justified," said OPSBA President
Rick Johnson. "Today's increased funding further contributes to a solid
foundation that will considerably strengthen the school environment for
students. The capacity to enhance human supports for students, such as
professional staff, education assistants and vice-principals, will enrich
programs and services and promote safe schools."
    OPSBA has taken every available opportunity over the last year to bring
education funding issues before the Ministers of Education and Finance and
their staff. This included a brief presented prior to the release of this
year's Grants for Student Needs. The brief reflected the advice of school
trustees, educators and school business officials on pressing funding
concerns. OPSBA is pleased to see a strong measure of responsiveness to these
issues in today's announcement, including an acknowledgement of the pressures
in student transportation.
    As a new school year begins, the provincial government's further
investment of $182 million enhances school boards' ability to build on the
positive work they are doing to strengthen student success. This is continued
evidence of a provincial commitment to a school system where every student can
thrive; initiatives supporting literacy and numeracy, secondary student
success and reduced class sizes at the primary level are measures that have
been welcomed by public school boards across the province.
    School boards are responsible for the delivery of educational programs
and services that promote student achievement and meet provincial policy
objectives. Additional funding to respond to identified pressures is welcomed;
however, to optimize school board efficiency, it would be beneficial if
funding enhancements of this magnitude were included in the annual grants.
This would allow school boards the opportunity to include the additional
funding in budget plans, acknowledge school staffing timelines and be fully
consultative with their communities.
    OPSBA is committed to working with the Ontario government and our
provincial education partners to set directions based on a common purpose of
offering the students of Ontario full opportunity to reach their rich

For further information:

For further information: Rick Johnson, OPSBA President, (416) 340-2540

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