Education and Student Debt
- Integrate the public and separate school boards. This will be more fair and more financially sustainable. It will end duplication and strengthen experience for students and teachers by streamlining the delivery of services and reinvesting that money where it counts – in the classroom.
- Stop closing local schools until clear guidelines are developed on when a school should close its doors. A school should be exempt from closure if it can demonstrate that it meets a minimum viability threshold, such as over 60% enrolment and no major disrepair should be exempt from closure.
- Keep more rural schools open by ensuring the funding formula reflects the important role of schools in rural communities.
- Eliminate standardized testing (EQAO), which is expensive to implement and wastes valuable resources.
- Ensure the average class size of grades 4 to 8 does not exceed 22 students, the current average class size for secondary students.
- Continue to reduce Kindergarten class size beyond 2018-2019 through a systematic and sustained application of class size caps that bring Kindergarten class sizes in line with other primary grades.
- Develop an effective plan for ensuring a sufficient amount of physical activity, based on evidence from research and engagement with education, health and other experts.
- Address the current $612 per pupil funding gap between elementary and secondary students.
- Help deliver front-line children’s services by increasing funding for school counsellors, specialist teachers, psychologists, behavioural counsellors, social workers, librarians, speech language pathologists and educational assistants so that students have greater access to services and shorter wait times.
- Establish a comprehensive evidence-based review of the education funding formula every five years to determine its effectiveness in supporting high quality public education.
- Conduct an independent, external review of the statistical model used for funding special education, to evaluate its effectiveness in meeting actual student needs.
- Increase support for special education funding to school boards to address the challenge of meeting the needs of children with learning exceptionalities and mental health issues.
- Regulate tuition fees by indexing any increases to Ontario’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) and freezing tuition within each cohort, including for international students This way the tuition rate of a student entering in his/her first year of a 3 or 4 year undergraduate program would remain frozen for the following 2 or 3 years.
- Properly fund higher education with public subsidies, eventually guaranteeing fully public tuition for all Ontario residents attending public colleges, trade institutions, and universities (not including graduate and post-graduate studies), and index the base operating grant provided to post secondary institutions to the weighted national average, followed by inflationary increases year-to-year.
- Partner with post secondary institutions, student governments, community groups, public health units and local law enforcement to find the best, student led approaches to combat the prevalence of binge drinking and sexual assault.
- Provide new carbon-free educational grants for students that want to be part of the carbon-free sector.
Click the photo below to watch Robert discuss strong public education.