NEWS RELEASE

Ontario Budget Protects Education During Recovery: OCSTA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Toronto—March 29, 2011—“The government’s deliberate focus on protecting education during this period of economic recovery is encouraging,” said OCSTA president, Nancy Kirby in response to the release today of the 2011 Ontario Budget.

While the budget announcement reaffirmed the government’s planned roll out of the Early Learning Program to an additional 200 schools this fall, the capital cost implications for that roll out are top of mind for school trustees.

“We applaud the government’s focus on providing Ontario with a strong start and we look forward to learning more from the release of the Grants for Student Needs (GSNs) on Thursday. There are significant capital costs associated with the provision of the Early Learning Program and we hope the GSNs will reflect an adequate provision of resources to ensure boards can deliver the program within budget,” adds Kirby.

The government also acknowledged in today’s budget that resources are needed to ensure that the province’s mental health support systems are responsive to the needs of children and youth. OCSTA welcomes the government’s investment in a Mental Health and Addictions Strategy that will begin with children and youth.

The 2011 Ontario Budget clearly acknowledged the role that Ontario’s K-12 system and post-secondary institutions play in helping to provide a well educated workforce that can help Ontario compete in the global economy. Ontario’s Catholic school boards are pleased to be partners with the government in providing schools where students can realize their full potential.

“Today’s budget recognized the vital role a strong start in school plays in ensuring a student has a strong finish. Of course attention to our students’ development is important every step of the way from kindergarten to grade 12. We look forward to reviewing the budget and GSNs in detail to determine the opportunities to improve the alignment of resources and the delivery of programs in support of student success in Ontario.”

The Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association is the provincial voice for Catholic education. Founded in 1930, OCSTA represents Catholic school boards that collectively educate approximately 600,000 students in Ontario, from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12.

For more information, please contact:
Sharon McMillan, Coordinator, Communications and Media Relations
Tel: 416-932-9460, ext. 232
E-mail: smcmillan@ocsta.on.ca