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Press Releases 2006

For immediate release

April 5, 2006

THE KENNEDY LEGACY

 

In the wake of Gerard Kennedy's resignation as Minister of Education, Sandra Pupatello inherits his legacy of under-funded program announcements and policy commitments.

 

After two and a half years, Gerard Kennedy has left Ontario 's education system burdened with policy and contractual commitments beyond the fiscal ability of school boards leading inevitably to deficits in every school board in the province in the coming year.

 

He leaves in his wake a multi-million dollar funding shortfall that school boards will have to deal with as the result of his "peace at any cost" labour deals.

 

His only major piece of legislation in two and a half years, Bill 78, robs school boards of any meaningful role, undermines the authority of school board trustees, strips away the independence of the College of Teachers , does away with Qualifying Tests for new teachers, and downloads numerous responsibilities to school boards without any commitment of resources.

 

After two and half years, rather than delivering on his promise to provide services to autistic children, this minister is fighting autistic children in the courts. Rather than improving services to Special Needs students, this minister presided over the clawing back of Special Needs funding from school boards across the province, and rather than adequately funding transportation for Ontario's students, this minister has ignored the appeals of the Ontario School Bus Association and has forced hardship on parents and students throughout rural and northern Ontario.

 

He has yet to deliver on the promised funding to keep rural and small schools open, and deflects responsibility for the imminent closing of many of those schools. And at a time when other jurisdictions are setting ever higher standards for their students, this minister in the name of "student achievement" has lowered the bar and dumbed - down the curriculum, and compromised provincial testing standards all in an effort to meet a political agenda.

 

This Minister mastered the art of the announcement, but lost sight of his mandate to serve the public interest.

-30-

For further information:

Frank Klees, MPP

416-325-7316


See EDUCATION

See AUTISM