Press Releases 2007
For Immediate Release
January 22, 2007
PCs REJECT EDUCATION USER FEE
Students paying for extra help proves
Ontario 's education system in trouble under McGuinty
(Queen's Park) - Progressive Conservative Education critic Frank Klees today rejected a McGuinty government sanctioned plan under which students at the York Region school board would be required to pay for an after-school tutoring program.
" This is a major departure from the principles of public education in Ontario ," said Klees. "Public education promises that every student has equal access to a quality education and that every student will receive the remedial support he or she requires without a "user fee" being imposed on parents, especially under the pressure of a "teacher recommendation."
Klees added: "Our school system has a responsibility to ensure that every student receives the remedial assistance necessary and should not have to look outside the classroom for that support. The question Mr. McGuinty must answer is why public education is failing our students in these early years."
Klees blames the McGuinty Liberals for not addressing the education funding formula as they had promised to do and called on them to prioritize education funding. Klees made the comments today following a report by the Toronto Star about a pilot program being run by the York school board that will charge students $190 dollars for after-school instruction. The article also reported that York is believed to be the first board in the province to charge students for extra help, which Klees feels sets a dangerous precedent for the education system in Ontario . Education Minister Kathleen Wynne told CTV she did not have a problem with the practice.
"Once again York Region parents are being asked to pay more and get less by the McGuinty Liberals," said Klees. "This amounts to another McGuinty user fee. Students in York Region deserve better than this - they deserve a fair and equitable education system built upon equal access for all."
For more information:
Frank Klees, MPP
The Liberal 30 January 2007
Letters to the Editor
Re: Kathleen Wynne, Jan. 27, 2007
It was disappointing to see the education minister make a partisan political attack on me and John Tory over my criticism of the York Region School Board's policy to charge user fees for tutoring services.
York Region residents know full well that I have always been a strong supporter of the York Region school system, but they also know that I have never hesitated to express my views on the issues of the day. I stand by my objection to user fees for students who need help with the very basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. Our public education system should be providing those services at no additional cost to parents - who are already paying over 13 percent of their provincial taxes and 50 percent of their property taxes for education.
Rather than resorting to partisan barbs, I would have expected the education minister to join me in defending the very basic principles of the public education system, namely, that every student is entitled to a quality education that will enable him or her to become the best they can be. Those students who may need additional support to achieve success should receive that remedial help from within the school system without parents being asked to pay a user fee for a parallel tutoring service.
Perhaps the minister missed the point or else conveniently chose to deflect the focus of my criticism, namely, that if the McGuinty government was adequately funding our schools, user fees for tutoring services for our grades 4 through 6 students would not be in the news.
Frank Klees, MPP
Oak Ridges PC Education and Citizenship
& Immigration Critic
Re: You can't count on system,
MPP Klees tells parents, Jan. 23 (Article)
The McGuinty government is committed to investing in the best public education in Ontario . It's a shame Frank Klees, a long time supporter of private schools, continues to try and undermine the good work of public schools in York Region. Instead of fearmongering and undermining publicly funded education, Mr. Klees and his leader, John Tory, should celebrate the successes of this board.
© 2008 Frank Klees, M.P.P. All Rights Reserved