McGuinty Government Invests In Success For Francophone Students

Archived Release

McGuinty Government Invests In Success For Francophone Students

Ministry of Education

French-Language School Boards Receive Over $70 Million Boost OTTAWA, June 24 - The McGuinty government is continuing to help to strengthen French-language education with two new approaches: directly recognizing the system's unique needs and responding with changes to the funding formula to provide more flexibility, Education Minister Gerard Kennedy said today. "One size does not fit all: our government recognizes the unique situations that French-language schools face in helping young Franco-Ontarians succeed," said Kennedy. "In addition to the challenges known to English-language school boards, our French-language boards face higher costs to deliver programs and services. They need support to promote French culture and to retain our francophone students." Since coming to office, the government has increased funding to the French-language system by almost $140 million. Of this investment, more than $93 million responds directly to recommendations of the French-language Education Strategy Task Force. With this investment, the government has responded to over 75 per cent of the task force's recommendations. The increase in funding for French-language boards in 2005-06 will total over $70 million. French-language students will benefit from a $627 increase in per-pupil funding, compared to $336 for their English-language counterparts. As part of the over $70-million increase: - $13.5 million will support the Actualisation linguistique en français allocation of the Language Grant to help reduce assimilation - $6.5 million is targeted to support Learning to 18 and literacy and numeracy programs for French-language students - $3.4 million to help keep good schools open - $1.6 million to support cleaner, safer schools for students - $4.6 million to continue reducing class size in the primary grades - $12.4 million to increase benchmarks for salaries and $2 million to keep up with costs - $2.9 million to hire student success teachers in secondary schools - $3.7 million for student transportation - $1.8 million for specialist teachers in elementary schools - $4.5 million in Good Places to Learn funding - that will leverage $62 million in repairs and renovations - $1.8 million for learning resources and textbooks - Approximately $11.5 million in unallocated funds outside of the Grants for Student Needs, to be announced shortly. Improving the performance of Franco-Ontarian students remains a key priority for the McGuinty government. In 2003-2004, on Grade 3 provincewide tests, 49 per cent of Francophone students achieved the provincial standard in reading, 63 per cent achieved the provincial standard in writing and 55 per cent achieved the provincial standard in math. The increased funding will help bridge the gap and help francophone students meet provincial targets. "The McGuinty government understands the importance of providing targeted support to Franco-ontarian children in the critical early years to help them acquire the French language and reduce assimilation," said Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs Madeleine Meilleur. "We will continue to work closely with our education partners to promote French culture and provide a French-language education advantage to our students." Kennedy was in Ottawa with Meilleur as part of a tour to take part in Festival Franco-Ontarien and to celebrate Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day. Kennedy and Meilleur visited Le Petit Prince Elementary Catholic School in Vanier and met with teachers, parents and other French-language education stakeholders. To view the backgrounder, please visit the ministry website at www.edu.gov.on.ca. Disponible en français. www.edu.gov.on.ca www.resultsontario.gov.on.caFor further information: Contacts: Amanda Alvaro, Minister's Office, (416) 325-2632, (416) 509-5696 (cell); Wilma Davis, Communications Branch, (416) 325-6730; Public Inquiries: (416) 325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514; TTY: 1-800-263-2892