Ontario Liberal leader and Premiere, Kathleen Wynne toured one of the newest Catholic schools Tuesday in Sault Ste. Marie, Holy Cross Elementary School.
There is announced a new three year plan if re-elected with $150 million for Technology and learning for all students in the province. The fund would allow the purchase of Tablets, cameras, laptops and computers to better the integration of technology into the classrooms.
Wynne also told reporters that her government has no plan to have a one school system in Ontario. “We have no plan to move in that direction at all” Wynne said. Sudbury Liberal candidate Andrew Oliver suggested the idea saying “now is the time”
“There are always conversations that happen during a campaign and candidates have their own perspective but we have no intention as a party to look at that kind of change” Wynne responded.
Premier Kathleen Wynne joined David Orazietti, Liberal candidate, and local students at Holy Cross Elementary School to announce the Ontario Liberal education plan to invest $150 million in technology and learning tools in schools over the next three years.
“Our plan includes a new, $150 million investment in new technology for schools, which will give local students access to state-of-the-art learning tools in the classroom,” said Orazietti. “This initiative builds on the tremendous supports that have been delivered to schools in our community since 2003, which have revitalized Sault Ste. Marie’s education system and helped to improve our graduation rates and prepare students for the future.”
The new, $150 million fund will support the way today’s students learn and prepare them for good jobs in the global economy by investing in new technology and learning tools, such as new digital tablets, netbooks, cameras, software and professional development for teachers.
“In an increasingly globalized and interconnected world, today’s students will be the modern workforce that is absolutely essential to the future growth of our economy,” said Premier Kathleen Wynne. “Our students today will need to compete for and create the jobs of tomorrow. We can only do that by giving them the support they need to succeed and by recognizing the reality that technology is – and will continue to be – an important element of their learning.”
The Ontario Liberal education plan is committed to making significant investments that build on the substantial progress that has been made in the education sector since 2003. In addition to the new technology fund, the Liberal plan includes investing $11 billion in new and improved infrastructure for elementary and secondary schools.
By contrast, the NDP platform lacks a plan for education and the NDP voted against new school infrastructure as well as funding for Full-Day Kindergarten, which is currently available at all schools in Sault Ste. Marie. The last time they were in government, the NDP increased class sizes, cut teacher wages by imposing the social contract, and built no new schools.
The last time the PC’s were in government, they cut $1 billion from the education budget, fired 15,000 teachers, increased class sizes and closed 500 schools in the province. The current PC plan to eliminate 100,000 public sector jobs would result in firing an additional 20,000 teachers.
Under the Liberals, local education funding has increased by 70%, which has helped to reduce class sizes, improve test scores and protect 208 teacher and support staff positions. The Liberal government has invested over $130 million since 2003 to build five new schools in Sault Ste. Marie.
The Liberal Plan is built on the priorities laid out in the 2014 Budget and includes a number of significant investments in education including:
· Providing an additional $11 billion over the next ten years for elementary and secondary education infrastructure
· Investing $150 million over three years in new technology and learning tools in schools, so that Ontario’s schools remain the best in the world
· $269 million over three years to increase wages for Early Childhood Educators (ECEs)
· Protecting Full-Day Kindergarten for four and five year-olds, saving families $6,500 per child, per year and providing children with the best possible start in school