McGuinty Government Welcomes Students Affected By Hurricane Katrina

Archived Release

McGuinty Government Welcomes Students Affected By Hurricane Katrina

Ministry of Education

Opens School Doors To Children, Waives Fees For Visiting Families QUEEN'S PARK, ON, Sept. 8 - Children whose families have come to Ontario will immediately be welcomed into the province's publicly funded schools at no cost, Minister of Education Gerard Kennedy said today. "We are opening up our school doors to help meet the immediate needs of these children and their families," said Kennedy. "By welcoming these students and ensuring that they can attend school at no cost, Ontario's publicly funded schools are doing their small part to help children whose lives have been completely disrupted just as the school year was beginning." Last spring, the government amended the Education Act to allow children of certain classes of temporary residents to attend school in Ontario without paying fees. The legislation now gives the government the ability to respond quickly to events, such as natural disasters, by issuing regulations that identify additional classes of persons who will be exempt from paying fees, which could be as much as $7,000 to $10,000 annually. The government contacted school boards today to confirm this initiative and to inform them that boards will be fully reimbursed for the cost of admitting these students. Already, a number of families who have sought refuge in Ontario have inquired about enrolling their children in the province's schools. Premier Dalton McGuinty has designated Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) to coordinate all offers of assistance coming in from across the province. EMO continues to monitor the situation in the affected areas and is working closely with Public Security and Emergency Preparedness Canada in coordinating relief to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Disponible en fran├žais. 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