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Press Releases 2007

For Immediate Release  

November 27, 2007

 

PC Education Critic Welcomes Appointment of Dr Pascal

 

(Queen's Park) PC Education Critic Frank Klees welcomed the appointment of Dr. Charles Pascal as Special Advisor to advise the McGuinty government on the implementation of the Liberal's (2003) campaign promise to put four and five year-olds into full-day learning.

"With the appointment of Dr. Pascal, we can count on the government getting objective advice on this issue. Knowing Dr. Pascal, he would want to conduct his work in a non-partisan way and we can only hope that he will be allowed to do so," said Klees. "As a respected expert in early learning, Dr. Pascal is an excellent choice to provide practical advice on the implications of full-day learning in our public education system."

Klees called on the Premier to ensure that the terms of reference for Dr. Pascal's report should include specific focus on Special Needs and children with autism where research shows that the greatest long-term benefits can be realized through early intervention.

"We would hope that children with Special Needs will not be left out of this full-day learning strategy," said Klees. "When the Premier says that 'early learning helps children get off to the best possible start in school,' this is especially true of children with special needs and autism, and we will look for Dr. Pascal's terms of reference to include that focus," said Klees.

Klees expressed concern that the government will add yet one more layer of programming and costs on an existing school system that is already under-funded and feeling the pressure of "program creep" without the requisite funding.

"New program announcements always make for interesting photo-ops, but the devil is in the implementation," said Klees. "Given school board deficits across the province, cramped and aging school infrastructure and the proliferation of portables resulting from hard caps on class sizes, it will be interesting to see how this latest Dalton McGuinty promise plays out. My advice would have been to concentrate on fixing the problems at hand before dealing with new ones."

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References:

Frank Klees, MPP

PC Education Critic

416 509 8999