McGuinty Government Delivering On Smaller Class Sizes
More Than 1,300 Schools Start The Year With Smaller Classes
MISSISSAUGA -- Ontario students returned to school today to find smaller classes, more teachers and greater resources -- all examples of how the province's schools are better this September, said Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.
"More than 1,300 schools have smaller primary-grade classes this year," said Premier McGuinty. "That's real progress toward ensuring success for students, because we know smaller class sizes allow students to get more of the attention they need to learn to read, write and do math at a high level."
"This is the start of a new era for education in Ontario. Every investment has been made deliberately to produce an education advantage for Ontario's students."
More than 1,100 new teachers are on the job this year as the government works toward its goal of capping all JK to Grade 3 class sizes at 20 students. Premier McGuinty, joined by Education Minister Gerard Kennedy, visited Grade 2 students at Lancaster Public School who were in a class of 28 last year, reduced to 21 this year.
"Schools are better this September," said Minister Kennedy. "Over the course of the next three years, we will move to establish our cap on class size across the province. We need a genuine partnership among government, teachers and education support workers in order to continue to improve education in this province. We can't do it alone."
Starting this school year, the McGuinty government is investing an additional $854 million in Ontario's public education system, bringing the total investment since taking office to $1.1 billion. In addition to the new teachers, other initiatives include:
- Providing over 7,500 JK to Grade 3 teachers with the latest teaching resources and techniques to help students improve their reading, writing and math skills through the government's summer literacy and numeracy training program
- Placing 8,000 additional specially trained JK to Grade 3 Lead Teachers in schools across the province and beginning to train an additional 8,000 Lead Teachers for Grades 4 to 6
- A $65-million increase in the Learning Opportunities Grant to help schools implement programs for students who need help the most.
"Smaller class sizes, two new teachers and a part-time literacy coach build upon the work we're doing to make our school an 'early years hub' that offers family literacy activities, programs before and after school, and special classes," said Marlyne King, principal of Lancaster Public School.
Premier McGuinty invited parents to visit their children's school to see the positive changes underway, but also said there is more work ahead to achieve excellence for all in public education.
"We want to make public education the best education -- that's why we're focused on providing results for students and restoring confidence in our schools. Ontario schools are better this fall thanks to the dedication of educators across the province. Together, we'll continue working hard to ensure that Ontario students reach their full potential and achieve excellence in education."