Plenty of savings to be found in education

Source: North Bay Nipissing.com

To the Editor:
I agree that the recent Ontario Budget had many obvious shortfalls. Education, in particular, missed two opportunities to find funds to avoid closing schools, and cutting educational assistants, secretaries, custodians, etc.

The strategy involves removing the duplication that exists throughout Ontario’s educational system, starting with the fact that Ontario taxpayers fund both a Public School system and a Catholic School system. The Green Party of Ontario stands alone as being the only voice of reason to merge the two, thereby recognizing savings from reductions in busing, building maintenance, infrastructure, administrators, etc.

The latest figures have valued this move at a savings of over $1 billion per year. Another area of duplication involves testing our students. The $35 million six-hour EQAO test has become totally redundant. The Green Party understands that school boards already administer assessments and tests that provide the same data as EQAO and provides feedback that is significantly timelier.

Combined savings of well over $1 billion can be achieved by accepting the short-sighted decision to close schools and cut educational assistants, secretaries, and custodians, or by advocating alongside the Green Party to merge the Catholic and Public school systems and eliminate EQAO.

Matt Richter
Green Party Education Critic

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